Arizona health department reports new data on virus antibody testing
PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health services on Tuesday unveiled an update to the laboratory section of its online coronavirus dashboard.
Antibody tests are utilized to identify the presence of antibodies an individual’s body has produced in response to an infection, according to Christ.
The AZDHS dashboard previously only included data on diagnostic tests, which reveal whether or not an individual is currently infected with the coronavirus.
“Antibody testing for COVID-19 is relatively new, so it is difficult right now to draw conclusions about antibody testing data,” Christ said.
“Additionally, an antibody test may be falsely positive for COVID-19 because the test may have detected the presence of antibodies to other coronaviruses that cause the common cold.”
The dashboard includes antibody testing data beginning on April 5 and lists updated information every seven days thereafter.
The highest reported antibody test results were on April 12 when 29.4% of those administered were positive.
AZDHS reports that 3.7% of the state’s antibody tests have yielded positive results.
— AZ Dept of Health (@AZDHS) May 5, 2020
The new data is a result of Arizona’s expanded testing capacity, Christ said.
Last week, Christ announced Arizona Testing Blitz — a plan by the state to rapidly test 10,000-20,000 Arizonans.
Arizona Testing Blitz began this past weekend and is set to continue for the next two Saturdays.