'Return to work' COVID antibody testing comes with warning
July 13, 2020
Doctors say employers should not use COVID-19 antibody tests to decide whether employees are safe to return to work, yet such testing is being promoted by lab companies and hospitals to businesses through "back to work" programs.
The idea is tantalizing: If scientists knew a COVID-19 infection caused the body to produce antibodies that reliably protect against re-infection, determining who's safe to return to work could be as simple as a well-designed blood test.
Yet the American Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health each say the evidence backing test accuracy and protectiveness from antibodies is not yet strong enough. Even the lab companies and hospitals admit they can't offer "immunity certificates" to people who have the antibodies today.