Md. to conduct COVID-19 serology testing study for firefighters statewide
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – On Monday, Governor Larry Hogan announced that state health officials will conduct COVID-19 serology testing for all professional and volunteer firefights in Maryland.
We’re told this initiative is currently active in seven jurisdictions and is a key part of the Maryland Department of Health’s ongoing statewide COVID-19 antibody study to determine how many Marylanders have been exposed to the virus. Salisbury and Worcester County are two of the jurisdictions who have received or requested supplies.
Serology testing is not diagnostic, but uses a blood sample to look for antibodies made in response to a previous coronavirus infection. Participants receive serology testing and diagnostic kits, sample collection supplies, logistical services to deliver supplies and pick up samples, and sample collection training. The test consists of a blood draw to produce samples, which are then sent to the State Public Health Laboratory for analysis. The lab processes the samples and provides results, typically within 24 hours.
“Our firefighters are on the front lines of emergency response, which greatly increases their risk of exposure to COVID-19,” said Governor Hogan. “Serology testing helps our health officials determine the prevalence of the virus, so we can have a better idea about how to prevent transmission and help protect our essential workforce.”