DC Health Wants Invitees to Get Antibody Testing

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Households invited to be tested received letters with DC Health letterhead dated July 21, and a postcard like this one around August 5. Courtesy: DC Health

The District is asking families who received a letter inviting them to participate in a COVID-19 antibody survey to please come in for testing.

Starting in June, DC Health asked 839 randomly selected District households to participate in the community antibody survey by August 21. Households invited to be tested received letters with DC Health letterhead dated July 21, and a postcard like the one above around August 5 reminding them to be tested.

The survey includes a questionnaire and a blood draw to test for antibodies specific to the virus that causes COVID-19. Results from the survey are intended to help DC Health and CDC learn more about the spread of COVID-19 in the District.

The DC Department of Health (DC Health), in partnership with the Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS) Public Health Lab (PHL), has been offering free serology screenings or antibody tests since mid-June. A serology screening is a blood test that determines if someone has previously been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

As of Friday August 7, only 56 of the 839 invited households have participated. The District needs a minimum of 560 households total, or 10 per census block, to ensure results are representative. Originally intended to end August 15, DC Health has extended the end date for antibody testing to August 21 to allow more households to be tested.

The testing is free, and households receive a $25 Visa Gift Card for participating. The test results will be shared with participants. If needed, DC Health will provide free rides to and from the testing site.

If you received an invitation to participate and have not yet been screened, you can call 1-855-363-033 and press 2 to make an appointment. Participants can tell the operator that they have been selected for “invite-only antibody testing.”

Learn more about COVID-19 testing and antibody testing sites by visiting coronavirus.dc.gov/testing