Cranston clinic testing for COVID-19 anti-bodies
CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) — Rhode Island residents are now able to be tested for COVID-19 antibodies.
The new service is being offered at Garden City Treatment Center in Cranston, where they started testing patients over the weekend.
Researchers say the tests could offer valuable information about the coronavirus, how it spreads, and how many people in the state may have had it.
“What we think it means is that we can tell whether your own body’s immune system has been exposed to the COVID-19 virus at least 14 days ago,” explained Dr. William Creighton, an emergency medicine physician at Garden City Treatment Center.
Dr. Creighton says the tests cannot yet confirm whether or not a person, who has the anti-bodies, is immune to re-infection or transmission.
But once enough tests are administered and data is collected, it may provide those answers.
“If it pans out that having the antibodies might confer immunity, then it absolutely could be one of the steps and guidelines to re-opening the economy,” said Dr. Creighton
Researchers say as many as 50% of people may have had the virus and not even known it. Widespread anti-body testing could help confirm those numbers.
“Its extremely important to know whether one has antibodies in their system so we can build that database to help us learn whether or not this might mean that there is protective immunity, whether it means we can [or can’t] transmit it further.” said Dr. Creighton.
The Garden City Treatment Center administers tests 7 days a week, by appointment only.