County recommends swab testing for Covid-19

Health officer says antibody testing is not CDC approved

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Covid-19 test kits are available at the Veteran’s Memorial Building located at 649 San Benito St. from Sunday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Appointments are available by calling 888-634-1123 or going online at lhi.care/Covidtesting.

The San Benito County Public Health Services department is claiming that antibody testing is not the best way to go when it comes to determining recent infection of Covid-19. 

County interim Health Officer Dr. David Ghilarducci on Aug. 26 issued a press release saying that people need to provide a sample of mucus from a nasal or throat swab in order to receive the most current, and accurate, results of the virus. 

“Our concern is that a person may receive antibody testing with a negative result and think they are not infectious,” Ghilarducci said.

Ghilarducci said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has two types of tests to confirm Covid-19 infection: polymerase chain reaction, or better known as PCR, and antigen tests. 

PCR tests detect the virus’s genetic material, while antigen tests detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus. Antibody tests are performed by obtaining a drop of blood through a finger-stick. 

They are not approved by the CDC to diagnose or confirm Covid-19 infection. Ghilarducci said the only way to rule out someone that has the virus is to get a nasal or throat swab test.

If you have signs or symptoms please seek care from your medical provider or the emergency department for PCR or antigen testing. OptumServe appointments can be made by registering at https://lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling 1-888-634-1123. 

For more information about Covid-19, go to the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html, call 211 or text “COVID19” to 211211 or visit the San Benito County Public Health Services website at http://hhsa.cosb.us/publichealth/.

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