**Press Release from University Medical System**
UMC is providing free antibody testing to area first responders, providing them with an opportunity to determine if they have been exposed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
About the test
Antibody tests are different than molecular tests used to identify if a person is currently infected with COVID-19. Instead, they help determine if someone has been infected and recovered.
When an individual gets an infection, their immune system produces proteins called antibodies in response to the infection. They are found in the liquid part of blood and specimens may remain for several months after an individual has recovered.
Detecting these antibodies helps determine if a person was previously infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. This in turn will help determine what percentage of the healthcare and first responder populations have been exposed to the virus.
“While citizens throughout the country have had to stay at home, health care, EMS, fire and law enforcement professionals have remained on the front lines—working around the clock to ensure the health and safety of communities,” said Thomas Moore, Director of UMC EMS. “It’s our privilege to serve our community, and we embrace the importance of showing up every day, prepared to face whatever may come.”
Early antibody test results for UMC EMS personnel indicate the personal protective equipment (PPE) worn by our providers has been effective in prevent the spread of COVID-19. This would not be possible without the help of community UMC Heroes who have donated PPE to us!
Agencies that can receive the test:
- Abernathy Police Department
- Idalou EMS
- Lubbock Fire Rescue
- Lubbock Police Department
- Lubbock County Sherriff’s Office
- New Deal Volunteer Fire Department
- Shallowater EMS
- Slaton Volunteer Fire Department
- Slaton Police Department
- Ransom Canyon Fire Department and EMS
- UMC Health System frontline employees
- West Carlisle Volunteer Fire Department
- Wolfforth Fire & EMS
- Woodrow Volunteer Fire Department