Newest cases are reported in Mid-County
OKANOGAN – Okanogan County Public Health reports two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Okanogan County in the agency’s Friday, May 8 update.
“Okanogan County Public Health is reporting two new cases today from the Central Valley,” says Public Health
Confirmed cases to date are from the following parts of Okanogan County as of 4 p.m.: Of the 27 confirmed cases, there have been two deaths and 18 are recovering. Of the 850 samples sent for testing, there have been 811 negative test results and 22 pending. Of the 27 cases, 11 are on the Colville Reservation, seven in Mid-County, five in the Methow Valley, three in South County and one in North County.
The next scheduled update from the agency is planned for Monday, May 11. More information from Public Health:
COVID-19 Antibody Tests
With community spread of COVID-19, many of us may wonder whether that cough we had a few weeks back was perhaps a mild case of COVID. Maybe you are a health care worker or other essential worker who wonders if you are immune and could care for someone who has COVID-19 or continue to work without the risk of getting re-infected.
There is clearly important value in understanding true individual immunity as well as the level of immunity to COVID-19 across the population. But with the science on COVID-19 still emerging, there is still a lot we need to learn about how well antibody tests can help answer these questions.
An antibody test, also known as a serological test, looks for antibodies in the blood that indicate whether a person has been exposed to a virus or bacteria. Antibodies are generated by a person’s immune system when you are fighting off viruses and bacteria.
New COVID-19 Antibody Tests
A new type of test that measures antibodies to the SARS-CoV2 virus has been getting a lot of attention lately and is becoming available, but there are important limitations.
These antibody tests do not tell a person whether he or she has COVID-19 now. Instead, they may show whether a person was exposed to the virus at some time in the past.
A critical question that scientists are trying to answer is whether a person who has been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 is immune from further infection or not and whether antibody tests accurately predict immunity.
Scientists don’t currently know how much immunity or protection results after a person is infected with SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, or how long that immunity lasts.
Many of the COVID-19 antibody tests on the market have unknown accuracy because FDA did not require the validation normally needed for new medical tests.
FDA has changed that policy and is now trying to apply some quality standards to COVID-19 antibody tests already on the market.
When are Antibody Tests Useful?
Antibody tests for COVID-19 may soon be used in community studies to determine what portion of the population has been exposed to the virus. But there is currently no practical value for an individual to get the antibody test outside of such a study, except perhaps if you are curious.
Antibody tests for some other diseases are useful, because enough research has been done to show what they mean. There hasn’t yet been time for that with COVID-19. When additional research is done, we may know what these results mean and COVID-19 antibody tests may be useful for individuals.
We don’t know enough about whether a positive antibody test indicates protection to make recommendations at this time. No one should draw definite conclusions about their protection from COVID-19 based on currently available tests.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/serology-testing.html
Thank you to all the community members who are taking steps to protect each other! Stay Home, Stay Healthy!
The state Department of Health Call Center 1-800-525-0127 Press # after the prompt
Education & Information www.doh.wa.gov/emergencies/coronavirus
Okanogan County Alerts Sign up for alerts like these from Emergency Management at: https://www.okanogandem.org.