May 13, 2020
Town of Kiawah Island Announces Partnership with MUSC to offer COVID-19 Antibody Testing to Kiawah Island Residents
Testing for the COVID-19 antibody, which can indicate whether an individual has been exposed to COVID-19 and has developed antibodies to the virus, will be an important tool to help communities and their citizens understand the prevalence of the COVID-19 virus in their community. The Town has arranged with MUSC to offer this test to Kiawah Island residents next week. Testing will be conducted at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s new West Beach Conference Center on Monday, May 18 through Wednesday, May 20.
The COVID-19 antibody test does not diagnose whether you currently have the active COVID-19 virus but indicates whether you have developed the antibody as a result of prior exposure to COVID-19. This information can be useful to you to help confirm past exposure. While it is still unclear to what degree the antibody provides future immunity to the virus, studies suggest that the presence of the antibody does provide a level of immunity against COVID-19, which can help assess your future risk of exposure as well. Like any medical test, your individual results will only be available and reported to you.
In addition to the benefit for residents, testing Kiawah’s population for the antibody will be valuable in helping understand how our community has been affected by the virus so far and evaluate our vulnerability to future outbreaks. Conducting community-wide testing for the antibody at this time can tell us what percent of our residents have been exposed to the virus during these past weeks when activity on the island was relatively restricted. If followed by retesting again later in the year, we may be better able to evaluate the impact of the safety measures taken by individuals and businesses as Kiawah’s economy and summer tourism return to more normal levels.
Because Kiawah and MUSC are evaluating the process for larger scale community testing, this initial testing opportunity is directed to Kiawah Island residents. However, if successful, we will explore with MUSC and other testing providers the prospect of offering similar testing opportunities for employees and non-resident property owners at a later time.
The antibody test requires a blood draw, taken by MUSC staff. Medicare and most private insurance providers cover the cost of the test. Specific details, including times, will be communicated before the end of this week. Provided here is a list of frequently asked questions developed by MUSC.
Having a high degree of resident participation is important and we hope you will take the opportunity to participate. Please look for additional information this week.