I’ve got something to tell you. I’m coming clean. Are you ready?
Here it is.
I don’t know squat about antibody testing for COVID-19.
And guess what? You don’t either.
Look, I’ve met plenty of people who think that they know about antibody testing for COVID-19: friends, colleagues, neighbors, mail carriers, none of them understand.
Remember when Zoom happy hours were a thing. That was so first month of quarantine. As if I’d be caught doing that again. Anyway, I vaguely recall my parents speaking to me on one of those happy hours — I was on my fourth WhistlePig — as if they were some authority on antibody testing for COVID-19.
But they aren’t.
Ok, maybe, I should clarify something. It’s not that we don’t understand the concept of antibody testing for COVID-19. You go to a healthcare provider or laboratory, someone runs a test, and they determine whether you have COVID-19 antibodies. I figured that much out from watching Doogie Howser re-runs on Lifetime.
But, what does it mean if you have COVID-19 antibodies?
According to the CDC, “a positive test result shows you may have antibodies from an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19, or possibly from infection with a related virus from the same family of viruses (called coronavirus), such as one that causes the common cold.”
Oh, that clears things up. Thanks. 😕
Then, there’s this CDC postscript: “We do not know yet if having antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 can protect someone from getting infected again or, if they do, how long this protection might last.”
So, then, should you require employees to get tested for COVID-19 antibodies as a condition of returning to work?
And U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, what do you have to say about this in the updated COVID-19 guidance that you released yesterday?
(Sorry, wrong clip. Let’s try this instead)
So, let’s break this down:
- COVID-19 test as a condition for returning to the workplace? Aye, aye, captain!
- Temperature or other health screening? All good.
Just make sure that you’re administering these policies consistently.
But antibody testing? The results are about as medically reliable as — spoiler alert (and NSFW) — the final scene of Rambo: Last Blood. So, don’t make it a condition of returning to the workplace.
And by “it” I mean the antibody testing. But, don’t allow your managers to reenact Rambo either.