Serology tests are a type of medical test which can be used to determine the presence of specific antibodies in a person’s blood. It is important to identify specific antibodies in a person’s blood because they can be evidence that a person may have contracted an infectious virus, such as COVID-19. As these antibodies may be present while a person is infected, serology testing can confirm whether or not a person has had an immune response to COVID-19. However, this test is not approved to confirm an active COVID-19 case at this time. The presence of antibodies does indicate that the body is engaging in a response to counteract the virus, but it is not known whether the presence of antibodies means there is any lasting immunity to the virus. No antibody test should be taken as a sign that a person is immune to further COVID infection until further details come forward.
Antibody test results can be important for detecting infected persons with mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. St. Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH) continues to explore how we can deploy antibody tests in a meaningful way to help determine the prevalence and spread of COVID-19 in our community. These types of tests can be an important tool we use to understand the impact this pandemic has had on our residents.
Each one of us has been called upon to slow the spread of the virus through the combination of social distancing and prevention hygiene, like frequently washing your hands and wearing face coverings. As the region begins to slowly open back up, DPH continues to stress the importance of wearing face masks while in public. This simple act lowers the risk of spreading COVID-19 and helps to keep everyone safe including our most at risk residents. Basic masks can also help to preserve N-95 masks for those who must work in direct contact with confirmed COVID-19 patients. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials offer a low cost option.
The Dignified Transfer Center is currently accommodating 15 decedents. Six additional individuals have been through the center and transported to a crematorium or funeral home, at the request of family. To date, 21 individuals have entered the Dignified Transfer Center.
The application process for contact tracers has closed. Approximately 800 interested individuals applied for the positions.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services hotline can be reached at (877) 435-8411.
St. Louis County has created a website dedicated to the dissemination of information relating to COVID-19, stlcorona.com. Please visit that website or those belonging to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) for the most current and reputable information.