RENO — The Nevada State Public Health Lab (NSPHL) in the coming weeks will begin a new form of testing that detects antibodies testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the current coronavirus pandemic. The NSPHL anticipates testing to be limited in the first two weeks after unveiling the test, with availability increasing gradually in following weeks.
This new test will be in addition to current COVID-19 testing which detects the virus itself.
“While our current ability to detect virus in human specimens is useful for determining whether people are infected with the virus, the antibody test will provide us with information about whether people were infected, but maybe never even knew they were,” said Mark Pandori, Ph.D., director of the Nevada State Public Health Lab.
Data from antibody tests will help state leaders make informed business and public health decisions. Nevada Governor Sisolak reported (April 16) that a plan to re-open business and communities in Nevada is being developed based on modeling and projections, health risk assessments, review of testing capacity, and other factors.
While NSPHL processes the tests, how the tests are used and who can get tested will still be up to state and county health districts and clinicians.
Antibody tests are administered two ways:
- Point-of-Care Rapid Diagnostic Tests – process involves a finger prick of blood.
- Lab-based Tests – process involves a clinician drawing blood from the arm and sending to the NSPHL or another public health lab for diagnostic testing.
For more information on the administration of antibody tests in Nevada, please contact the following:
- Nevada Department of Health and Human Services at: (775) 684-4000 or dhhs.nv.gov or nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/
- Southern Nevada Health District at: (702) 759-1000 or SNHD.info
- Washoe County, contact the Washoe County Health District at: (775) 328-2427 or COVID19Washoe.com
Feature Image: Lucia Starbuck