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Home : News
NEWS | June 22, 2020

Texas National Guard medics conduct COVID-19 antibody tests

By Staff Sgt. DeJon Williams Texas Military Department

WESLACO, Texas – Medics conducted COVID-19 antibody tests for Operation Guardian Support (OGS) service members June 19 at the Weslaco Armory.

Testing was conducted for service members with symptoms or potential or known exposure to someone being tested for the coronavirus.

“Today we had roughly 30 service members who were waiting for COVID-19 testing out in the local facilities,” said Maj. Vicente Bautista. “We had testing available, so we went ahead and did the testing ourselves. What we did was antibody testing, which gave us results in about 15 minutes.”

Before testing, the service members filled out paperwork for the medics to track exposure, symptoms and personal data.

“The test itself is a finger prick with a lancet,” said Spc. Joshua Leonard, with the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Team. “It just needs a few drops of blood from the fingertip. That is then placed into a prepared testing card. ... The blood is then mixed with a serum designed for this test. The two mix and the reaction will show a line on the test if the antibodies are present.”

Service members discuss the results with the Task Force physician’s assistant.

Should a service member’s test positive, it does not necessarily mean they are still ill with COVID, Leonard said. It only means they have been exposed to the virus and their body has formed a defense against it.

Bautista said he hopes to test more service members.