COVID-19 drive through antibody testing

This photo shows a COVID-19 antibody drive-through test site in Logan earlier this year. Two Logan-based companies, Quansys Biosciences and Vidacheck, are teaming to host similar events in Davis County next week.

LOGAN — A Cache Valley-based biotechnology company will hold a pair of drive-through COVID-19 antibody testing events in Davis County in the coming weeks.

Quansys Biosciences in Logan will administer FDA-approved finger prick tests from 3-8 p.m. Thursday, June 25, at Northridge High School, 2430 N. Hill Field Road, Layton, and again from 3-8 p.m. Tuesday, June 30, at Bountiful High School, 695 Orchard Drive, Bountiful.

Clayton Watts, a lab technician with Quansys, said his company is working in conjunction with another Logan-based company called Vidacheck, which developed the test. After tests are administered, Quansys evaluates them for the presence of antibodies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 antibody tests could be critical to understanding how widespread infection has been in a particular community. The CDC says antibodies are usually detectable one to three weeks after symptoms appear. Though not yet proven definitively, the presence of antibodies likely means that a person has at least some degree of immunity from future infection, says the CDC.

“Because (COVID-19) is so novel, we don’t have a lot of hard evidence,” Watts said, “But if you have antibodies, there’s a good chance you have some level of immunity.”

Watts said Quansys currently offers on-site antibody testing from 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays and from 3-6 p.m. Thursdays at its lab at 365 N. 600 West in Logan. He said the company has also done a few drive-through testings in Cache Valley. The upcoming tests in Davis County are part of the company’s effort to make testing more widely available along the Interstate 15 corridor through the Wasatch Front.

Tests cost $45, Watts said, and testers will be outfitted in proper personal protective equipment. People currently exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, like a fever, cough or shortness of breath, should not attend the drive-through testing events, Watts said, and instead get tested for an active infection by their local health department.

Watts said Quansys is currently seeking FDA approval to distribute “at-home” testing kits with which people can draw their own blood via a finger prick, then send the sample back to the Quansys lab.

Lori Buttars, spokesperson with the Weber-Morgan Health Department, said antibody tests should not be used to determine if once-sick employees can return to work or school. She said social distancing and face masks remain essential to avoid infection from the coronavirus and should not be disregarded based on antibody test outcomes.

“Any employee showing symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of their antibody status, should be sent home and tested for the virus,” Buttars said in an email to the Standard-Examiner. “They should remain isolated until symptoms resolve.”

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