Employers should not rely on results from antibody tests when determining whether people should return to work, according to new guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Antibody tests determine if someone has had the coronavirus in the past. But the CDC has expressed concerns on the accuracy of the tests even if the results show a person has virus antibodies.
“Serologic test results should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace,” the CDC states in the guidance on its website. “Serologic test results should not be used to make decisions about grouping persons residing in or being admitted to congregate settings, such as schools, dormitories, or correctional facilities.”
Antibody tests, also known as serologic tests, are different than the tests used to see if a person currently has the virus. The CDC has said the test antibody test results are not always reliable and often provide false positives.
The CDC said that while the presence of antibodies “likely indicates at least some degree of immunity, until the durability and duration of immunity is established, it cannot be assumed that individuals with truly positive antibody test results are protected from future infection.”
It is still unknown how long immunity from the virus lasts.
As drug manufacturers rushed to release antibody tests to the public, the Food and Drug Administration began requiring more information to ensure better accuracy.
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