27 May 2020
The Island’s essential workers are being tested for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies.
The free testing is part of the Government of Jersey’s ongoing COVID-19 testing and tracing programme, designed to monitor and contain the spread of coronavirus in the Island.
As part of a wider study, the test is for all essential workers who worked away from home for five or more times during the Stay Home period, between 30 March and 11 May.
This includes the following groups:
- Parish workers
- Nursery workers and childminders
- Utility and Island infrastructure workers
- Retail workers, including from supermarkets, petrol stations, DIY stores, banks, pet shops, garden centres and takeaways
- Freight, post and passenger services, including bus drivers, taxi drivers, post and delivery workers
- Emergency accommodation providers
- Cleaners and security workers
- Construction workers
- Gardeners and farmers.
This follows the testing offered to Government of Jersey essential workers last week to test a new booking system.
The finger-prick test will establish in around 15 minutes whether someone has had the virus and developed antibodies. The results of these antibody tests will feed into the research programme to help understand the prevalence of COVID-19 in the population. Participants will be told their result.
The test looks for the presence of two different types of antibodies (IgM and IgG) which are created when a patient’s immune system fights the virus.
If IgG antibodies are present, this means the participant has had the virus and recovered, but does not mean immunity to COVID-19. There is no clear scientific evidence yet available to show that a positive antibody test means long term immunity
If IgM antibodies are present, participants may be offered a diagnostic swab test (PCR test) by a registered nurse during the appointment and advised to return home and self-isolate immediately.
This testing is not available to anyone already taking part in the community antibody testing programme, as the information provided in this longitudinal study already captures their results.