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PitCo Starts 'Small-Scale' COVID-19 Antibody Testing On Friday

Apr 16, 2020

Pitkin County will run testing out of its "incident command trailer" which is being modified to serve as a mobile lab.
Credit Courtesy of Pitkin County Incident Management Team

Pitkin County is running a small-scale pilot program of its COVID-19 antibody testing on Friday at Aspen Village fire station. Testing is not yet open to the public; the county says Friday’s trial run will be used to gauge the accuracy of its blood tests and the efficiency of its mobile testing operation.

The county recently acquired 1,000 blood tests from Colorado-based startup Aytu Bioscience. Those tests, which use a blood sample from a finger prick, can detect the body’s response to COVID-19, identifying people who have had the virus but do not show symptoms.

 The sixteen people invited for testing on Friday have been previously tested, which will help officials determine the accuracy of the Aytu tests.

 Pitkin County has yet to announce formal criteria for who will be tested next. In Thursday’s public health meeting, Karen Koenemann, the county’s public health director, teased the idea of an online form. Residents would fill out the form and could be selected for testing if they meet certain yet-to-be-announced criteria.

 Koenemann emphasized that the county will use blood tests to measure the presence of COVID-19 in the community. The county’s epidemiological team will likely choose people whose results will be most useful in its data collection. The county will use data regarding the presence to inform its decisions about the gradual rollback of public health orders and restrictions.