Health department: Potential inaccuracies in COVID-19 antibody tests in Chester County

Chester County was a leader among governments trying to learn if its first responders, prison and nursing home workers had coronavirus antibodies.

"There are folks who can carry the virus with little or no symptoms and this will tell us if they’ve already had it," Chester County Health DirectorJeanne Casner said.

In April, the county health director explained why $13 million dollars was being spent to buy finger prick, antibody tests from Advaite, a county-based biotech firm.

The county showed reporters a drive thru testing site and spoke of the tests' value in May. 

In a post on its website Wednesday, the county revealed during testing it began to see:

“...a higher number of positive test results than expected...”

They admitted it failed to quickly alert the people who took the tests, writing:

“...the potential inaccuracies of the antibody tests should have been provided to test recipients on the affected days...”

Renee Cassidy is a public health doctor who posts daily on Twitter about health policy. Declining to appear on camera, Cassidy says while she believes the county health department was trying to “protect people” she quit her job with the department, in part, over its failure to quickly alert the 6,000 people who may have gotten the false positive antibody tests.

The county declined to provide a spokesperson to answer questions on camera.

In its statement, Chester County now says it has notified everyone who may have gotten one of tests in question.


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