Nursing Home Benefits from Covid-19 Antibody Tests
Fellowship Village, a life plan community in New Jersey, is well on its way to reopening thanks in part to Covid-19 antibody testing. And other providers, including Juniper Communities, are also beginning to utilize antibody tests as part of their regimens. The antibody test differs from the PCR “nasal swab” kit in one main way: Instead of checking for the presence of an active Covid-19 infection, it instead looks for evidence of antibodies that are fighting the disease. The life plan community in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, tested its staff and more than 400 residents for Covid-19 antibodies over a three-week period in April and May. The tests were procured in partnership with the Bernards Township Department of Health and Dr. Thomas Porter of Advocare Basking Ridge Pediatrics. Having that information allowed the provider to better mitigate the disease, according to Brian Lawrence, president and CEO of Fellowship Senior Living. “Knowledge is one of the best resources and tools that you could have to make decisions,” Lawrence told Senior Housing News. Fellowship Village is a life plan community of Fellowship Senior Living, which provides senior housing, services and programs for older adults throughout New Jersey. The test that Fellowship used looks for two kinds of antibodies: IgM, or early antibodies which could indicate an active infection; and IgG, or late antibodies that indicate someone was previously exposed to Covid-19 and now potentially have some level of immunity. What Fellowship Village found was that 242 team members tested negative for any antibodies, 84 team members tested positive for late IgG antibodies, while another 45 team members tested positive for early IgM antibodies. Among residents, 233 tested negative for antibodies, while 34 tested positive for late IgG antibodies and 38 tested positive for early IgM antibodies. Fellowship Village was able to re-test some of its workers and residents who may have Covid-19 using a nasal swab kit. The community found that four team members and two residents had active cases of Covid-19.
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