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ECDOH to offer COVID-19 antibody tests to county residents

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Posted at 12:32 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 12:32:17-04

Starting Tuesday May 19, the Erie County Department of Health will offer a series of clinics for COVID-19 antibody testing throughout Erie County.

The antibody test will be conducted by the Erie County Public Health Lab and requires a blood draw from the arm.

Appointments will be available in half-hour increments at clinics held three days each week, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

These clinics will be set up in locations throughout Erie County, including Amherst, Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Depew, Hamburg, Lackawanna, Orchard Park, Springville and Williamsville.

ECDOH said antibody tests for COVID-19 should be done at least 21 days after onset of any COVID-19 symptoms. Those symptoms may include cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell.

ECDOH will schedule appointments for Erie County residents ages eleven and older through its COVID-19 Information Line at (716) 858-2929, which is open daily between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

There is no cost for antibody testing through ECDOH. To maintain physical distancing within each test site, only individuals who have a scheduled appointment and their parent or guardian, if under 18 years old, will be allowed into the testing area.

Diagnostic COVID-19 tests where a nasal swab is collected continue to be offered through ECDOH by calling (716) 858-2929. Diagnostic tests are available at this time for individuals who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or if you feel you are at risk.

“Antibody tests can indicate past exposure to a disease, but a positive test does not necessarily mean you are immune to a future COVID-19 infection,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “Regardless of your antibody test results, you should continue social distancing, wear a mask when you could be near other people, wash your hands with soap and water often, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and minimize the time you spend in public spaces, especially if you are elderly or have a chronic disease.”