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Today I am sharing an update on COVID-19 antibody testing for UW Medicine staff, trainees and faculty. Next week, UW Medicine will begin rolling out phased testing for the COVID-19 antibody at lab draw sites across the enterprise. The first wave of employees to be tested are those working on COVID-19 units, including those that provide direct clinical care and those that provide essential services to support patient care in those areas; employees working in Emergency Departments and COVID-19 testing sites as well as COVID-19 screeners and safety officers. Testing will then be available to all UW Medicine employees, trainees and faculty in multiple phases throughout the summer. Testing is voluntary and requires a blood draw. All results will be stored in the UW Employee Health database (not EPIC or ORCA) and can be accessed only by a small number of employee health team members.

There are many unanswered questions about COVID-19 that large-scale antibody testing may help us understand, including disease course, spectrum of illness and how widespread the infection has been in our community. Test results will inform an individual if they have been infected with COVID-19 and recovered, regardless if symptoms were ever present. It will also give our system a better picture of how the epidemic has impacted UW Medicine staff, trainees and faculty, and how well our policies and procedures to prevent infection are working.

This test, like flu shots, is being offered through Employee Health at no cost to staff, trainees and faculty.

Leadership will be reaching out to managers, directors and physicians whose employees, trainees and faculty are eligible to be tested in this first wave to provide information on how to schedule a test. Over the next several months, additional testing will be scheduled as we move to provide this service to all UW Medicine employees. For more information, please see our FAQs. Thank you.


John Lynch, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Infection Prevention & Control Program
Associate Medical Director, Harborview Medical Center
Division of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, UW School of Medicine