COVID-19 has created a challenging health crises that has persisted longer than originally expected. Many businesses find themselves overwhelmed with the amount of information required to reopen successfully and in-compliance. We are here to help solve that problem. Our goal is to provide you with the most up-to-date information, trends, and recent testing developments.
Important questions to consider when developing a testing plan
- Is enough screening being performed to correctly identify asymptomatic individuals?
- What is the current method of screening being performed?
- What are the goals and objectives for the next 3 months? 6 months? Year?
- What are the external and internal challenges faced?
- What are the follow up measures being used to better understand the rate of transmission?
- Have the testing personnel been correctly informed to understand the characteristics of the test(s) being used?
Testing for Past Infection
Being able to identify individuals with past infection could help safely accelerate the "return to normalcy" efforts while ensuring the correct safety measures are taken. Screening for past infection is done through antibody testing. Antibody tests check your blood by looking for IgG and IgM antibodies which may tell you if you had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies are proteins that are developed by our immune system that help fight off infections and can provide protection against getting that disease again (immunity). More information about antibodies can be found in the testing protocols tab.
Levels of Detection
According to the CDC "antibodies in some persons can be detected within the first week of illness onset". Illness onset is not to be confused with the time of first infection. At this time, it is unknown for how long antibodies will persist following infection and if the presence of antibodies confers protective immunity. Recurrence of COVID-19 illness may suggest that the presence of antibodies could indicate at least short-term immunity to infection with SARS-CoV-2.
Antibody Testing Strategies
At the current time, it is recommended to use a test able to maximize specificity and thus the positive predictive value in a serologic algorithm since the overall prevalence of antibodies in most populations is still likely low. According to the CDC "choosing a test with a very high specificity, perhaps 99.5% or greater, will yield a high positive predictive value in populations tested with low prevalence; however, the positive predictive value will show some variation based on the population prevalence with a single test strategy". To understand the full Clinical Agreement of the Ecotest visit the test performance page.