Antibody Tests Show Few In N.C. Have Been Exposed To Virus

May 13, 2020

N.C. Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen.
Credit N.C. Department of Public Safety

State health officials say early results from antibody tests show a small percentage of North Carolinians have been exposed to the coronavirus.

Researchers are still developing tests to determine how many people may have contracted the virus, but did not show severe symptoms. It's not yet clear how effective or reliable the tests are, but at Wednesday afternoon's briefing, state health secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said strict social distancing does appear to have reduced the spread.

"Really early results show not a lot of prevalence here, which is not surprising," she said. "We did not have a peak or a spike in cases so it's not surprising that we had a low prevalence rate that is coming back through these antibody tests."

Cohen said the state also is training more contact tracers to track coronavirus infections in North Carolina, with a goal of at least 750, but she did not say when they would be ready. A recently released study from Harvard University suggested the state should have more than 6,000 contact tracers to help contain the outbreak as North Carolina eases restrictions.