Monday, September 21, 2020
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GUARDaHEART Foundation Host No Cost COVID-19 Antibody Testing Community Event in Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
By Khari Jones, Jr., Contributing Writer
Published August 13, 2020

Sergeant Keith Mott, Dr. Douglas S. Harrington, and LAPD Capt. John Pinto at the antibody testing community event. (Courtesy photo)

Guardaheart Foundation hosted a COVID-19 antibody testing site in the Baldwin Hills Mall parking lot. According to Dr. Douglas S. Harrington, the chairman of GUARDaHeart Foundation, most people are familiar with the swab test, and it measures the RNA from the virus. It has limitations; it’s only for people with symptoms.

“The antibody test is for people who don’t have symptoms, who may have been exposed to somebody who may have had a cold in the past. The antibody test is measuring your body’s immune response to the virus. If you have detectable antibodies, you have developed some level of immunity,” infers Dr. Harrington. He says the data from CDC and other countries have indicated that if you have those antibodies, the likelihood of you infecting others is extremely low.

Dr. Harrington said, “The other thing that is important is the majority of people infected with COVID (19) don’t know it, for our public health authorities to know what the true level of disease is in the community, the antibody [test] will tell you if you have been infected in the past and that’s important.”

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The test is entirely free and fully covered under the Cares Act. Whether you have insurance or not, you are covered, states Dr. Harrington. There is a program for uninsured and insured.

“We want to encourage you all to come in and get tested. It is a blood draw; we do it on an expensive automated machine. The test we use is 100% sensitive. We don’t have false positives or false negatives,” Dr. Harrington infers. When you get tested, your results will be back in 2-3 business days.

Black and Brown people are 30% more likely to catch the coronavirus and 50% more likely, if they catch it, to die from it, says Gina Fields.” We are extremely concerned. We need to trace it and test it. We need to help people understand the importance of that so we can help combat the disease. The economy is crashing; we have to do something to helps us move forward. I think the best way to do that is through testing and antibody testing.”

Fields biggest concern is that people are saying that testing is not that big a deal when they don’t know the depth of the problem. “You can get sick, not get sick, and pass it on to your loved ones. There are so many people in our community who still don’t recognize that.”

The antibody test lets you know if you ever had the disease and will be used to make vaccines. “We’ve heard of people getting it once, being sick and getting it a second time and getting more sick,” Fields infers. Fields say it’s essential to stay in small groups, so you know who has been in contact. “Contact tracing is hugely important in stopping the disease from pushing forward in our communities.”

Gina Fields explaining the difference between the swab test and the antibody test. (Courtesy photo)

There was a recent house party where people hung out by the pool, congregating without masks and operating like business as usual. Fields said, “The longer we’re out partying, the longer we’re out acting crazy, the longer this going to last, the more the economy is going to tank, the more people are going to have chronic health conditions for the next 30-40 years. You all need to help us.”

Fields mention the owners need to police their property more and don’t allow more than ten people in the homes. “Don’t just free for all, ‘good luck, I’m getting my money I don’t care.’ Have respect for the Los Angeles Community enough to say ‘no, I’m not letting you have a 200-300 house party just for the money.’” Field implies we need stricter laws. She says we are desperate for this disease to stop spreading in the community.

LAPD Capt. John Pinto, the commanding officer of South Traffic Division, says this is an excellent opportunity to come and get a free test and support the GuardaHeart Foundation, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Sergeant Keith Mott mentions it’s important to get tested and that the antibody test can be a part of the cure to help get over the virus. “Not only this community, but the country. You can look at it two ways, help our community and our country to overcome this coronavirus so our kids can go back to school, so that we can get back to our lives.”

Categories: COVID-19 | Crenshaw & Around | Local
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