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UA expands COVID-19 antibody testing to more essential workers

UA expands COVID-19 antibody testing to more essential workers

Jennise Taylor, an executive assistant in the UA Office of Communications, has her blood drawn by Yvonne Castaneda of the Department of Immunobiology for an antibody test.

The University of Arizona in collaboration with the state are expanding access to its free coronavirus antibody testing program.

Now workers in the following areas can be tested: Educators; child-care workers; agriculture, grocery and food service workers; hospitality employees; solid waste collection workers; transportation services workers; and members of the National Guard.

Initial phases of the program were available only to health-care workers and first responders.

The UA last reported there were 31 testing sites statewide, with at least one in each county.

The antibody blood test does not detect whether people are currently infected with the coronavirus but rather if they have had the virus already and have built up antibodies against COVID-19.

To sign up for a free test, go to covid19antibodytesting.arizona.edu.

UA is also launching a yearlong, $7.7 million study to “identify patterns of COVID-19 immunity over time in previously and newly infected individuals,” UA said in a news release. It will be funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Approximately 4,000 health-care workers, first responders and other frontline workers will be enrolled as participants in the study. They will undergo weekly COVID-19 surveillance and quarterly antibody testing.

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or sdavis@tucson.com

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1

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