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Webinar Recap & Recording: “COVID-19: Laboratory Testing for Virus Presence and Antibody Response”

| Health Care

On May 6, the NC Chamber welcomed LabCorp Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dorothy Adcock and Vice President of Employer Services Heather Provino for an overview of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and a presentation on screening and testing options available to employers as they plan for safe, responsible reopening of their businesses. Scientific information regarding COVID-19 is evolving rapidly; the information provided in this webinar is accurate as of early May 2020. Access the slides and webinar recording here.

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Dr. Adcock described transmission, infection, and symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 as well as the people who are at high risk. She explained why the virus is so contagious due to viral shedding that occurs early in the course of the disease (1-2 days before symptoms appear). Dr. Adcock also expressed the importance of washing with soap and water frequently since soap acts as a destabilizer to inactivate SARS-CoV-2.

The presentation illustrated how LabCorp developed a procedure to detect the unique genetic sequence for SARS-CoV-2. There are two ways our bodies fight the virus: antibody response, which is measured in labs to trace those who are infected, and cellular response, the specific type of white or T-cells that bind the virus and clear it from our bodies. Dr. Adcock pointed out that these antibodies *may* (but don’t always) provide immunity. Most people who’ve recovered from COVID-19 have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, but currently, there are no studies that prove these antibodies provide immunity.

LabCorp shared recommendations for business leaders as they establish a return to work strategy. For the safety and health of their workplace, employers should assume that some employees and customers are asymptomatic viral shedders of SARS-CoV-2; therefore, face masks, social distancing, and screening/temperature checks (of employees and potentially customers/vendors) are essential elements. Symptomatic workers need to be tested immediately, and if positive for SARS-CoV-2, workplace contact tracing must occur. Businesses should follow CDC  guidance.

To assist employers with their return to work planning, LabCorp Employer Services offers tools for COVID-19 screening and testing including symptom checking (temperature checks and symptom survey for employees) and testing methods (COVID-19 PCR and Serology/Antibody Tests). LabCorp looks forward to supporting employers in making informed reopening programs for their employees and customers.

If your organization has questions regarding testing options for their organization please contact one of the individuals below by email, or visit LabCorp’s website to make an inquiry.

Traci Butler, Senior Vice President: butlert@labcorp.com

Clay Gipson, Ph.D., Vice President of Business Development: gipsonc@labcorp.com

Heather Provino, MS, Vice President, LabCorp Employer Services: heather.provino@labcorp.com

The NC Chamber thanks LabCorp for sharing valuable information and insight to help business leaders develop return to work plans that are safe and successful.

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Coronavirus Resource Guide