Watch CBS News

New COVID-19 Antibody Pilot Testing Begins Friday Across LA County

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Hundreds of Angelenos will take part in a new coronavirus antibody pilot test this Friday and Saturday.

coronavirus testing Los Angeles
Cars await coronavirus testing near Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on April 7, 2020. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

The test is being coordinated by the L.A. County Department of Public Health and the USC Price School of Public Policy.

The pilot test, which USC claims is one of the first in the U.S., is designed to check whether a person has already contracted coronavirus by determining whether they have the antibodies that could potentially give them immunity to COVID-19.

MORE: Westminster Drive-Through Coronavirus Testing Clinic Draws Hundreds Of Southland Residents

"This study is really helping us figure out how deadly the disease is," said Dr. Neeraj Sood, who is helping run the tests at USC.

The study will be done on 1,000 randomly selected Los Angeles County adult residents at six different drive-up sites. No walkups will be allowed.

The first round of tests will take place this Friday and Saturday. Testing will then be repeated on the same participants every two weeks to track how the virus is moving through the population.

"The goal of the study will be to determine the likely number of people in L.A. County who have ever had COVID-19, which will help provide a more accurate picture of how widely the virus has spread in the population, the mortality rate associated with infection, and potential immunity across the population," organizers said in a news release.

As of Wednesday, L.A. County had recorded 7,530 coronavirus cases and 198 deaths.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 — the disease caused by the coronavirus — is spread from person-to-person through close contact, usually within 6 feet, and mainly via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. People are likely most contagious when they are most symptomatic. Coronavirus can also be spread by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your mouth, nose and eyes.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.