Serology testing to begin in North Dakota

Local News

A scientist presents an antibody test for coronavirus in a laboratory of the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) at the InfectoGnostics research campus in Jena, Germany, Friday, April 3, 2020. An international team of researchers with the participation of the Jena Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) has developed a rapid antibody test for the new coronavirus. By means of a blood sample, the test shows within ten minutes whether a person is acutely infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (IgM antibody) or already immune to it (IgG antibody). The strip test is manufactured by the diagnostics company Senova in Weimar and is already on the market. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

Gov. Doug Burgum announced serology testing will begin in the state next week. The state has purchased more than 170,000 point of care tests. They are a 15-minute test that draws blood through a finger prick. 101,000 are already in the state, with more will be coming this month. These tests help discover if someone has had COVID-19.

Burgum says they plan to go into areas where people have already tested positive for coronavirus. This will help them gain knowledge if the tests are working properly at discovering antibodies. Burgum says once they have an understanding if it’s working, they will deploy the tests to other places. It will help know if herd immunity is happening.

A second serology test that takes blood and is sent off to a lab will also be available. These require a full blood draw but are considered more accurate.

So far 2,632 serology tests have been completed in the state. 86 of those tests have shown the presence of antibodies.

Results of serology testing will be posted separately than active testing for COVID-19.

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