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VDH COVID-19 antibody study shows Hispanic adults disproportionately impacted

Only 2.4% of adults in Virginia have COVID-19 antibodies

A new study by the Virginia Department of Health revealed that 2.4% of adults in Virginia have COVID-19 antibodies.

VDH worked with health care systems across the state, including Carilion Clinic, to study antibodies.

The presence of COVID-19 antibodies was highest in Hispanic individuals, at 10.2%.

Residents of the Northern region were at 4.4% and 3.8% in those who are uninsured or insured through Medicaid.

In Southwest Virginia, only about 1% had antibodies for the coronavirus.

Statewide, Hispanic ethnicity, living in an apartment building or other multi-family housing unit and reported contact with a COVID-19 case significantly increased the risk of having a positive antibody test.

Dr. David H. Trump, a public health physician specialist with VDH’s Office of Epidemiology, said that younger individuals also had more antibodies.

In order to combat the disparity, VDH is getting out messages about prevention and access to testing to Spanish-speaking media outlets.

Trump also emphasized that more than 95% of the population has not been exposed to COVID-19, so everyone still needs to be careful.

“People in those populations still remain at risk and you know, none of us can let our guard down," said Trump.

Trump added that health experts still don’t know enough about the immunity from COVID-19 antibodies, so it’s still important to follow the health and social distancing guidelines.


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