Galveston Co. provides free antibody tests after COVID-19 spike

GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- As Galveston County sees a spike in COVID-19 cases, it's also now providing free antibody tests to residents.

"The testing is really central to making sure we're all healthy," said UTMB Pathologist Dr. Michael Laposata.

He helped select which antibody test the island would use, which is important considering not all antibody tests are equal.

Some tests just find that you've had coronavirus, but does not show specifically if it was COVID-19.

"What they learned later is, some of these antibodies are reactive if you had a coronavirus cold three years ago, not COVID-19, but a related virus. The antibody could cross react and give you the wrong answer," said Laposata.

In order to receive the test, you have to be a Galveston County resident and call the hotline to set up a time to visit one of the three locations.

The Galveston County Public Health Authority said data shows less than seven percent of people in the county are social distancing.

Dr. Philip Keiser with Galveston County's local health authority said if the numbers continue to rise instead of improving, it could be a big issue.

"If we have, we could see that rapidly overwhelm the healthcare system," he said.

DETAILS: See demographic breakdown of cases by community

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