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News & Town Board Reports (gblist)

Posted on: May 21, 2020

Westchester Medical Center expanding antibody testing to public

Westchester Medical Center has expanded antibody testing program. Call 326-2060 for an appointment.

Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) is expanding its antibody testing program. Effective immediately, COVID-19 antibody testing for the public is available by appointment at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY.

Members of the public interested in COVID-19 antibody testing can call 914.326.2060, Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., for screening and to make an appointment.

After testing samples are secured, they are brought to Westchester Medical Center’s Valhalla laboratories for evaluation. In most cases, results will be shared with each tested individual within 48 hours.

To date, WMCHealth has conducted more than 8,000 antibody tests. Initially, testing was offered on a voluntary basis to all WMCHealth workforce members and patients of WMCHealth, as well as to first responders, in partnership with Westchester County.  Now, with the expansion of testing appointments to include the public, WMCHealth expects to perform thousands more COVID-19 antibody tests at the Westchester County Center, which is owned by Westchester County and now operating under the direction of the New York State Department of Health and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Antibody Testing – What We Know Today

Antibody testing, also known as serological testing, detects antibodies present in the blood when the body is responding to a specific infection, like COVID-19. Serologic assays such as the antibody IgG test (used by WMCHealth) are an indicator of exposure and antibody development — and may show if an individual has ever been infected with the virus, even if they did not have symptoms. As such, an antibody test detects the body’s immune response to the infection caused by the virus, rather than detecting the virus itself. In the early days of an infection, when the body’s immune response is still building, antibodies may not be present in detectable levels.

Antibody testing can play an important role in the fight against COVID-19 by helping to identify individuals who have been infected and developed antibodies to the virus. Test results will be used to estimate the total number of people who have been exposed and/or infected nationally.

Additionally, while the presence of antibodies does not confirm current or future immunity, it allows an individual who tests positive for antibodies to donate convalescent plasma, a resource that can help others who are actively battling COVID-19.

COVID-19 Antibody Tests Do Not Detect Active Infection

An antibody test does not take the place of testing for active infection. WMCHealth operates coronavirus infection testing sites on or near each hospital campus across our network.  Testing for infection is available by appointment and community members experiencing symptoms can visit WMCHealth.org/Testing to find the nearest testing site.

 

PAUL FEINER

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