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UArizona making COVID-19 antibody tests for first responders, health care workers

Posted at 4:02 PM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 20:42:53-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona will be providing COVID-19 antibody tests to health care workers and first responders.

Gov. Doug Ducey and University of Arizona president Robert Robbins announced at a news conference Tuesday.

Antibody tests can help determine who may have already been infected with the coronavirus, and therefore would have immunity to it. Those people would be safer returning to work and into society.

A $3.5 million check from the state will allow UArizona scientists to produce 250,000 antibody tests to be distributed across the state. In Tuesday's news conference, Robbins said the university expects to complete production of the tests in about a month.

Robbins also announced earlier this month his intention to provide antibody tests for all 45,000 UArizona students and 15,000 faculty and staff. Those tests will be funded through private donations, UArizona said in a news release Tuesday.

The tests are administered by testing a blood sample from the patient, which will be sent to UArizona laboratories.