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From cops to lifeguards, all emergency responders in four York County municipalities will be eligible to be tested for COVID-19 antibodies starting Tuesday to see if they have had the virus and learn more about how it spreads.
“While there is still much to learn about this virus and the risk to first responders, there is some value in knowing just how significant the occurrences of spread are,” Saco Fire Chief John Duross said in a statement released Monday. “We may find that some are in that asymptomatic population, or some who may have had minor illness may now be able to determine if it was seasonal allergies, a different strain of the influenza virus, or was the coronavirus.”
Ambulance workers, dispatchers, firefighters, lifeguards and police will be among the emergency workers tested from Saco and its mutual aid agencies — including Biddeford, Goodwins Mills and Old Orchard Beach, according to the statement.
Quest Laboratories will administer the Abbott Architect Kit test, which has been approved for Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The test relies on blood draws that determine whether subjects have or have had the tests and whether the subjects have developed antibodies to the test, according to the statement.
Saco’s firefighter/EMS providers respond to more than 3,500 fire suppression incidents per year and more than 2,800 emergency medical calls, according to the statement.