COCONUT GROVE, Fla. – On Friday, the state of Florida released numbers for COVID-19 antibody testing for the first time. These numbers come from data collected at drive-thru sites in Miami Gardens, West Palm Beach, Orlando and Jacksonville and will be reported on a weekly basis, the state says.
Of 123,552 people tested as of Friday morning, 5,474 were positive for antibodies (4.4%), while 118,053 were negative and 25 tests were inconclusive.
Health officials are still not sure what these numbers precisely mean. There are questions as to whether being infected with COVID-19 and developing antibodies provides protective immunity.
The World Health Organization actually warned against the idea of people ruling out being infected with coronavirus for a second time.
“We need very accurate tests, and the FDA let too many tests that were not accurate,” says U.S. Rep Donna Shalala, D-Fla.
See the state’s full data release below:
New antibody test site
As state numbers are being made public, Coconut Grove is opening a new antibody testing site at the Frankie Rolle Community Center.
“People would love to know that they’ve had the virus and overcome it,” Miami-Dade commissioner Xavier Suarez said at the new testing site.
Suarez says this site will be reporting results to the state, and they expect to test about 100 people for COVID-19 and administer about 20-30 antibody tests Friday.
”By order by of the county mayor Gimenez, all of this data has to be shared I think on a daily basis by hospitals and clinics," he said.
While antibody testing could give the public and health officials a better idea of what is going on in South Florida and across the state, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines warning that test results can have high false-positive rates and should not be used to make decisions about returning to regular life.