Galveston County offering free COVID-19 antibody tests to residents

Free COVID-19 antibody test for Galveston County residents
Free COVID-19 antibody test for Galveston County residents

Galveston County residents and those who live in county municipalities, which include portions of Harris County, can receive a new free COVID-19 antibody test.

The testing is available at the nearest UTMB clinic in Galveston, League City or Texas City. Testing is by appointment only.

Interested residents should call 832-632-6731.

Rising cases

Galveston County confirmed 108 positive COVID-19 cases Wednesday, more than any other single day reporting. In fact, more than a third of all new cases here have been reported in the last two and a half weeks.

“I think we’re at a critical moment right now,” County Health Authority Dr. Philip Keiser said. “What is concerning is that we’re now seeing these numbers rise very, very rapidly, in just the past few days.”

Galveston County has offered free COVID-19 swab testing for about a month and Wednesday expanded to offer the new antibody tests. County Judge Mark Henry and Dr. Keiser were first in line.

“(We) wanted people to know it’s quick. It’s easy. And, it’s very important to the fight against COVID,” Henry said.

Hospitals throughout the state, including in Galveston County, are not at or near capacity, Governor Abbott said this week.

Many antibody tests have proven to be inaccurate. The director of laboratories at UTMB said the new test is the best of the best.

“We decided that no antibody test would enter our laboratory unless we spoke directly to the scientists who developed it,” said Dr. Michael Laposata.

He added that antibody testing also helps healthcare professionals treat those with acute coronavirus.

“We can contain the plasma part of the blood that contains antibodies of COVID-19,” Dr. Laposata said. “And we can give it to people who are really with the infection, and most of them get better.”

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