Whole county testing

I haven’t been coming around much because honestly, I’m bored of all the covid-19 threads. Not that I don’t take the threat seriously, but the precautions are things we already do and I just find the conversation stagnant.

However… I just got an email from my doctor’s office. Seems they are implementing blood testing for every single member of our county, free of cost. Test results should be available within two days. The intention is to repeat the testing in two weeks for everyone, too.

The email did not have many specifics, though. I don’t know if it’s MANDATORY for every single person or voluntary. I don’t know how one actually goes about getting the test. Do they schedule them, do they drive down the roads and knock on doors? If it’s mandatory, and buses/shuttles have been cancelled, how do those of us who don’t/can’t drive get to the test facilities? How do they protect us from the hoards of possibly contaminated people accumulating in the testing facilities… Especially after they’ve banned accumulations of people? If tests are supposed to be so rare and unrefined thus far, how do we have access to enough for the whole county and how effective are they? Who or what is paying for this?

I think it’s an awesome preventative step. It’s the first I’ve heard of any such movement to test an entire community. They’re trying to gauge just how pervasive it is, and how it’s changing over the weeks to come.

As of yesterday, we had no confirmed cases. The national guard set up a testing facility yesterday afternoon for 100 people who were selected by the two medical offices in the county based upon symptoms they presented to the doctors with. No results have been released yet from those tests, though, and now this announcement about full-county testing just came through.


Which county?

That’s why I hate ever visiting an ER or an urgent care clinic when I don’t have a communicable disease, but some other urgent medical need. Too many sickies in those facilities!

I’m going to not answer that, because I had it creepily pointed out to me the other day here that I share too much personal info. Of course, if this is as rare of an occurrence as I think it is, it’s probably Google-able, too.


OK, that’s fine! I fully understand.

Blood tests?

Yes, blood tests.

That is amazing, for your county health department to pull this off is quite a feat. It is encouraging, it tells me that test kits are getting out there.

May I ask a question without getting too personal, how big is the population of your county.

Not very big, about 8,000 people. I don’t actually know how accurate that number is, though. We’ve got a big ski resort and the area is full of vacation homes and transient/seasonal population swings. Since the ski resort was forced to close 3 weeks early (gonna kill our local economy), a lot of people may have returned to their city homes.

8000 is a comparatively small number but still no small feat. Actually a large feat for what must be a small health department. Still gives me hope, if a small county can pull this off hopefully it can be done for larger populations soon.

I applaud your health officials

Thankfully I’ve got a little insider info, since my mother-in-law is on the regional medical board of directors. I’m a little peeved I saw her a few hours ago, though, and she failed to mention any of this. Apparently it hasn’t actually been decided HOW they’re implementing this, yet The only extra detail I’ve figured out thus far is that it’s voluntary, but they don’t want to make that fact too-well-known, to encourage as complete testing as possible.

Here is history of why testing has not rolled out faster in US primarily for the swab test, not blood test.
Appears swab is more reliable, but blood test can be quicker but not as accurate.

“Another in-demand approach would look for antibodies to the virus in the blood of patients, a so-called serological test. That’d be useful, because in addition to identifying people with Covid-19, it could tell you if someone was once infected but then recovered.”


From everything I’ve read and video I’ve watched lately, I think the test for Covid-19 is a nasal swab, not a blood test. I’m curious what they’re testing in the blood. This kind of effort is not done without a lot of forethought so I suspect they have a plan. I’m curious what that plan is.

That’s a shame. I am interested in learning more about this. If anyone else discovers where it is, please share the link with others. The test is almost always a swab, at least so far. I’m interested to read about the development of a blood test, though. Again - please link if anyone else hears about this. Thanks!

Okay, so much for anonymity… LOL Because apparently what is happening here is about to change the testing protocols everywhere.

They just did a big news conference. Apparently the blood test is brand-new, different from any test previously used, developed locally, and only just passed through the FDA via their emergency protocols today. It’s partially good Samaritan, and I’m sure partially to fuel the popularity of the test for wider distribution, but the family who developed the test is offering it to the county at no cost, and yes, it is via blood, not swab. It is an antibody test that will simply tell if you have now or previously had covid-19. It in no way indicates severity. I suppose it can’t be fully known without more data, but is supposedly unsurpassed in accuracy and efficiency, with test results only taking two days to process en mass.

The county health director said that there are zero documented cases here… But that this is simply Infactual, as they’ve seen a rising number of people presenting with the symptoms, but previously had no effective means to confirm. The test is not a treatment or solution to the problem, it will merely provide data and insight.

Of course, they also announced the conjunctivitive “sheltering in place” ordinance that closed down all community businesses (except essential services, and with less than ten people), schools, libraries, etc…

You have all the anonymity in the world to me! Because I still have no idea what state you’re in!!!! Somewhere where they ski and so it’s probably out West, but beyond that, no idea.


San Miguel County, CO. I only just realized how big this is, and that hiding my tiny little community isn’t going to happen. The company is United Biomedical, but I haven’t had much luck googling anything on them that isn’t related to HIV vaccines.

You can listen to the radio newscast that shares snippets of the news conference, if you want: koto.org

News>Daily Newscasts>Newscast 3-18-20

I can’t seem to link directly to it because of the way it’s embedded. The pertinent bits start at 5:15, after all the “sheltering in place” talk.


I remember Andy Dwyer in Parks And Rec proudly declaring… “They took my blood FOR SCIENCE”.

It’d be very useful, for the good of us all, for a smallish community to be 100% tested.

Right now only the most serious cases are being tested and gives us a false denominator in all the Covid-19 statistics because we for certain there are some folks (especially the young) are never tested because the symptoms were so mild.

By taking blood, a broad panel of antibody testing can also be done to see what previous immune system exposures have been.

News Story

Not sure blood testing is used for covid19?

I think honestly we are past the point of testing being very helpful. It’s way more widespread than previously believed and testing and announcing every positive is just going to further spread panic. Instead I’d suggest we treat it like HPV… know/ assume that everyone has it and adjust behavior accordingly until a vaccine is available (if that will ever happen remains to be seen). But ride out the wave from a distance and our society will develop immunity and life will go on.