As states roll out antibody testing, Vt. officials remain wary of accuracy

Published: Apr. 24, 2020 at 6:11 PM EDT
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Despite other states' ramping up of widespread antibody testing, Vermont health officials say they still lack confidence in the the current tests.

California and New York have already rolled out the tests and are seeing results that show many people had the COVID-19 and didn't know it.

New York's health commissioner touted the accuracy of their state's version of the test. But Vermont's working group determined last week that serology testing wasn't accurate enough yet for individual diagnoses, but that it could be used to get a sense of how many people had been infected by the virus.

We asked Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine Friday why the tests were good enough for New York but not Vermont. "You'll have to ask New York. I've told you the guidance we've received, which confirms some of the guidance I've been hearing from many other places and that my reading has led to as well. But I can't speak to why New York thinks they're good enough at this point in time" Levine said.

He says they are working with the White House's Coronavirus Task Force and said they have no new answers from them about the accuracy of antibody testing. He did say Vermont in the near future would be doing serology tests on the population but not until the state's working group decides on which test to use. Their next recommendation is due in about three weeks.

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