Los Angeles County is one of the largest municipalities in the US to announce the results of antibody testing.
Based on the research, scientists estimate that between 2,8-5,6% of the population in the county has developed immunity to coronavirus.
The percentage may seem low, but when compared to the actual number of people, it means that between 221,000 and 442,000 adults out of 8 million have been carrying the virus. These numbers are much higher than the rates from early April.
According to Professor Neeraj Sood from the University of Southern California, the fatality rates are lower than what was announced at the beginning of the pandemic, but it’s more than necessary to pay attention to the number of newly infected people and the possible outcomes of those cases.
Performing widespread antibody tests and establishing the number of patients immune to COVID-19 can play a crucial role in country reopening decisions. By confirming the exact rates of people who can no longer get sick, the officials can decide how many of them can go back to work and school in the following weeks. Different parts of the country conduct a different number of antibody tests, depending on the number of infected people.
The accuracy and the quality of the antibody tests are only some in the row of concerns that the scientists are pointing out. A lot of criticism is addressed to the Trump administration that struggles with diagnostic testing, which further complicates the antibody testing outcome.
L.A. County is seriously considering to ease the lockdown, as well as continuing with the random antibody testing. The test kits in this part of the country are provided by Premier Biotech, a company based in Minneapolis.
The high number of people with antibodies is good news, but at the same time, it means that all of those people are potential virus transmitters, infecting others around. For this reason, it is still not safe to return to the normal way of living or discard the possibility of a new increase in infected cases.
Staying at home, keeping social distancing and continue wearing facial coverings is still highly recommended by the doctors. Although the rates from the antibody testing seem promising it is early to relax or disobey the new social norms.
However, communities with relatively low rates of coronavirus are starting to reschedule the previously postponed heart disease and cancer surgeries. Also, some states will reopen soon or at least plan on doing so, which is not recommended by the experts.