- The Washington Times - Monday, June 15, 2020

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday that the city is now offering free coronavirus antibody testing.

Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, director of D.C. Department of Health, said these tests will be used to get a better idea of how many residents have been exposed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

“There is still a lot we are trying to learn about what the presence of antibodies means,” Dr. Nesbitt said at a press conference. “Typically when someone has antibodies to a virus, it may mean that you are immune. We do not know that yet about SARS-COV-2 antibodies and what it means to your immunity for COVID-19.”

D.C. residents can sign up for the antibody testing, which tests for previous exposure, not current infection, by calling 1-855-363-0333.

Miss Bowser said she will provide this week an update on whether the District will enter phase two on June 19, which is the earliest health officials said the city could do so.

“We have not seen a reversal in the declining trends,” said Dr. Nesbitt, amid an increase in testing and after a new spike in the number of infections was reported over the weekend.

Miss Bowser said officials have seen an increase in the amount of tests offered at supported sites since fire stations began to offer free testing.

During the first week of June, about 1,500 people were tested for the coronavirus. The following week, which was when firehouses started providing free tests, that number grew to 6,000 tests.

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