The Atchison County Commission has dedicated CARES Act funding to provide COVID-19 antibody testing to all Atchison County citizens. During phase one of testing all health care professionals, law enforcement officers, educators, county officials and staff were tested.

Test sites will now open to the public. Site locations and times are as follows:

• Velma Houts Building, Rock Port: Monday, July 13, and Friday, July 17, 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

• Fairfax City Hall: Tuesday, July 14, 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

• Tarkio Community Building: Wednesday, July 15, and Thursday, July 16,7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

The Atchison County Public Health Department has been contracted to collect the required data. If you would like to be tested and are willing to participate in an informational survey, the test is free of charge and you can go to one of the three locations listed for testing.

Details for receiving the test are as follows:

1) This is a blood draw. No fasting is required.

2) No appointment is needed.

3) You must wear a mask. A bandana or scarf over the face is satisfactory.

4) You must complete the COVID-19 antibody testing packet found at https://atchisoncounty.org/covid-19/ and bring it with you to the testing site. If you do not have access to a computer, forms will be available at the site (allow extra time).

5) If you are under 18 years of age you must have the consent of a parent or guardian.

6) Results will be sent via mail seven to 10 days post-draw. Please read the packet for other uses of your information.

7) If you live or work an average of 20 hours per week in Atchison County, you are eligible for this free antibody test. If you are not a resident of Atchison County, you are asked to bring a statement from your employer that certifies you do work an average of 20 hours per week in Atchison County.

If you have questions regarding the packet or the testing itself, please contact Tasha or Deanna at the Atchison County Clerk’s Office by calling 660-744-6214, so they can direct you to the appropriate person.

Antibody Test

Antibody tests check your blood by looking for antibodies, which can show if you had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies are proteins that help fight off infections and usually provide protection against getting that disease again (immunity). Antibodies are disease specific. For example, the measles antibody will protect a person who is exposed again to measles but will have no effect if the person is exposed to mumps.

What do your

results mean?

If you test positive:

• A positive test result shows you may have antibodies from an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19, or possibly from infection with a related virus from the same family of viruses (called coronavirus), such as one that causes the common cold.

• It is not yet known if having antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 can protect someone from getting infected again or, if they do, how long this protection might last.

• You should continue to take precautions to protect yourself and others.

• You might test positive for antibodies even if you never had symptoms of COVID-19. This can happen if you had an infection without symptoms (also called an asymptomatic infection).

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• You may also be eligible to serve as a potential donor of convalescent plasma.

• If you have no symptoms, you likely do not have an active infection and no additional follow-up is needed.

• If you work in a job where you are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), continue wearing PPE.

• If you have symptoms, an antibody test cannot tell if you are currently sick with COVID-19.

If you test negative:

• You may not have had COVID-19 before.

• You could still have a current infection.

• The test may be negative because it typically takes one to three weeks after infection to develop antibodies. It is possible you could still get sick if you have been exposed to the virus recently. This means you could still spread the virus.

• Some people may take even longer to develop antibodies, and some people may not develop antibodies.

• If you have symptoms or develop symptoms after the antibody test and you meet other criteria for testing, you would need another type of test called a viral test. An antibody test cannot tell if you are currently sick with COVID-19.

Regardless of whether you test positive or negative, the results do not confirm whether or not you are able to spread the virus that causes COVID-19. Until more is known, continue to take steps to protect yourself and others.

More information from the Centers for Disease Control can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/serology-overview.html

This antibody testing is made possible by the Atchison County Commission, Community Hospital – Fairfax and the Atchison County Public Health Department.