WEST CHESTER, Pa. - Chester County will begin antibody testing for people performing essential functions in the fight against COVID-19. The county is the first in the state to undertake such a test.
The pin-prick blood test to determine the presence of antibodies will help Chester County to address workforce prioritization with patient care, staff shortages and crisis care management, according to officials.
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“We have just received a shipment of 10,000 blood test kits and are expecting a second shipment of 10,000 more next week," Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Marian Moskowitz said during a press conference Monday.
"These kits will be administered to priority individuals - emergency responders, healthcare workers and staff at long-term care facilities throughout Chester County, to determine those who have developed coronavirus antibodies, with or without symptoms."
The first tier of people to be tested have been identified. In addition, staff and inmates at Chester County Prison will be tested to help determine work prioritization for prison staff, as well as identify a better system to group inmates that will help better prevent further spread of the virus within the prison.
“This test is supplemental to the coronavirus testing that we have already been doing and will continue to do,” said Jeanne Casner, Chester County Health Department Director. “It is NOT a replacement test for confirming cases."
The first level priority testing will begin this week.
To date, Chester County has 304 COVID-19 cases, and three deaths have been reported.
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