(This is excerpted from a story from The Mercury News.)
Long motorcades of volunteers converged at three Stanford University research sites this week, donating blood for a new test that identifies the prevalence of coronavirus in our community – and could help reveal the full scope of Santa Clara County’s epidemic.
The 2,500 test slots on Friday and Saturday filled up within hours, as news of the project — the first large scale study of its type in the U.S. — spread quickly through the county, according to this Mercury News story.
The test detects protective antibodies to the virus rather than the virus itself. This gives scientists a snapshot of how many people in the county have already been infected, but weren’t seriously sick and didn’t realize it. And it tells residents whether they carry potentially protective antibodies – so may be immune to future infection.
“This is critical information,” said principal investigator Eran Bendavid, an infectious disease specialist and associate professor of medicine with Stanford Health Policy. “We will show the country what to do and how to do it,” he said.
The project, coordinated with the Santa Clara County Department of Health, was applauded by Gov. Gavin Newsom during a Saturday press conference in Sacramento, who called it “the first home-grown serum test in the state of California.”