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Thousands Of COVID-19 Antibody Tests Arriving in South Florida This Week

MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Antibody testing is seen as a key component to restarting South Florida's economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

This week, thousands of FDA approved COVID-Rapid tests are expected to hit the market.

The manufacturer, Florida-based Abacus Pharma International is expecting FDA approval shortly.

With a simple finger stick and two drops of blood, the test will show within 15 minutes whether you have been exposed to the virus.

"We've been in use in Europe. We have great studies done by independent researchers demonstrating the efficacy of the test," said CEO Dr. Vincent DeGennaro.

He's a local doctor who live on Miami Beach.

"What sets us apart is production capability and quality. We can make 20 million tests a month," he says.

In under 15 minutes, the COVID Rapid test can show you whether you have antibodies to the virus and whether you are currently infected or have been in the past.

Widespread antibody testing is thought to be a necessary step to helping reopen the American economy for business again because as much as 50 percent of people infected with COVID-19 can show no symptoms.

"I think it's something America needs right now, to reopen. We need to have massive testing in place. We can only do that with lots of testing meaning that you, me and everyone will be tested three and four times over the next 8 months."

The test will show who has immunity, where the virus is spreading, and how wide it's circulating.

The company is donating ten thousand tests to the City of Miami.

Those results will be added to The Miami-Dade County University of Miami Joint Antibody Testing going on.

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Early indicators are a small percentage of those tested had antibodies and more than half of that group had no symptoms.

The COVID Rapid test will first be available at your doctor's office and eventually your local pharmacy.

The cost is $20 and will be covered by insurance.

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