Valley first-responders begin testing for COVID-19

Valley law enforcement officers have begun testing for COVID-19 antibodies.

It’s part of a plan to test 3,000 first-responders.

More than a thousand Phoenix Firefighters got tested last week, now Phoenix Police are lining up for the antibody testing and doctors expect to see more officers test positive for the antibodies.


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“This is something that’s going to give officers and families peace of mind … help them do their day to day," says Britt London, Plea President.

Last week, more than 1,700 Phoenix Firefighters were tested for COVID-19 anti-bodies and 20 were positive.

The doctor overseeing the testing says all 20 of the firefighters were asymptomatic. The plan is to test about 2,000 Phoenix Police officers, and doctors expect to get more positive results.

"They go on different types of calls, different [personal protective equipment] … interesting to see how they compare to the firefighters," said Dr. Vershalee Shukla.

This mass testing of first responders was paid for by donations from the Phoenix Suns, Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

London says many officers who are out on the streets, have COVID-19 in the back of their minds while on duty.

“Have I had this … if they did there’s that possibility of 6-8 months they are immune," she explained.

Doctors say that is the important part of the testing is not only to find out how many first responders have already had COVID-19, but to see who may be eligible to donate their antibodies.

"The biggest benefit to doing this … potentially save four people, by donating plasma," Dr. Shukla explained.

On Monday, 2 Phoenix Police officers and 4 Tempe Police officers tested positive for antibodies.

Dr. Shukla hopes to test first-responders again in a couple months.

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