Healthcare workers administer a coronavirus antibody test in Los Angeles. (Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

What We’re Learning from Antibody Tests to the Coronavirus

2020 Covid-19 Editions June More News

By T.A. Hendrickson

Testing for antibodies to the coronavirus continued in Los Angeles in May, including in Boyle Heights in Council District 14.

Preliminary results reported by the L.A. County Department of Public Health suggested that there was not much spread of the virus in the general community population between the testing in May and testing conducted in April.

Based on the results of the second round of testing, researchers estimate that approximately 2.1% of the county’s adult population has antibodies to the virus, compared with 4.1% among test subjects in April. The differences between the two results was not statistically significant.

Similar to the previous study, men were more likely than women to have been infected: 2.8% among men and 1.4% among women. There were also differences by income level, with 2.8% of lower income people testing positive for antibodies versus 1% of people with higher incomes.

There were only slight differences in positive antibody tests by race and ethnicity.

Antibody testing helps health officials understand the spread of the virus and thus how to best manage and contain it. Antibody testing will also help build a foundation for discovering whether the presence of antibodies gives a person some immunity to the virus.

The antibody testing program, a joint effort of USC and the L.A. County Department of Public Health, has been championed by Kevin de León, the L.A. City Councilmember-elect for Council District 14.



T.A. Hendrickson
T.A. Hendrickson, a native of Eagle Rock, is the editor of the Boulevard Sentinel and a former member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times.