Antibody Testing in Our School

This+test+involves+taking+a+small+amount+of+blood+and+tells+someone+if+they+have+had+the+virus+before.+The+viral+test+takes+a+swab+from+the+inside+of+their+nose+and+tells+if+they+have+the+virus+currently.

This test involves taking a small amount of blood and tells someone if they have had the virus before. The viral test takes a swab from the inside of their nose and tells if they have the virus currently.

Alyssa Klimowski, Staffer

The year 2020 has been impacted heavily by the Coronavirus. Schools, restaurants and places of gathering were shut down with the hopes of reducing the number of people with the virus. With a new school year approaching, people are wondering if sending their kids back to school is a good idea. Lake Central High School is testing to find out how much of their staff was affected by the Coronavirus.

   “We are hoping that this test will provide staff with valuable information. As opposed to a COVID infection test, which only indicates if one is currently carrying the virus, an antibody test informs individuals that they have previously been infected. Since many individuals have few or no symptoms, this may give some staff members a little more information,” Dr. Larry Veracco, Superintendent, said.

   This process will include two testing times: one before school starts and one around nine weeks after school starts. This test could be very beneficial to staff members, especially because it is being provided to them for free. It could also provide insight to if they had the virus considering many people experience different symptoms and some are asymptomatic. 

   “Well, for most viruses (although we are still unsure about COVID-19), once you have the antibodies the virus is unlikely to have a significant effect on you at least for some time period.  You are at least to some degree immune from the virus.  Although not proven for COVID-19, we hope this holds true for it as well,” Mr. Kendal Smith, Science, said.

   This could be valuable information to staff members. Even though it is not proven for the coronavirus, it could provide peace for returning staff members if they have the antibodies. Hoping it is like other viruses, if they have the antibodies the virus should affect them less.

   “The goal with this is basically to help people know what’s going on with the virus within our own community, especially since no other seroprevalence study has been done of a suburban community in this area. Other seroprevalence studies have been done, but they haven’t been targeted at a population like this one, like in a school setting, in a suburban setting, and it’s supposed to give insight as to what the virus is like in a community like ours,” Lilah Lopez (12) said.

   With COVID-19 being so new, not much is known about it. This study could benefit our school system and other school systems across the United States, especially since this study is the first of its kind. It may even be published in a scientific journal.

   “The second trial will be really, really important because, hopefully, at that point, we’ve been in school for roughly nine weeks, so we’ll be able to tell how much going to school increases the spread of Covid, and if the numbers jump up extremely high, then we’ll know changes need to be made,” Graham Weber (12) said.