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Stories, Stats, Impacts: Wyoming Public Media is here to keep you current on the news surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

St. John's Health Foundation Donates COVID-19 Antibody Tests For Jackson Hole First Responders


Teton County has 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Monday morning, some of the most across the state. Now, thanks to a donation from St. John's Health Foundation, all of Jackson Hole's first responders will be tested to determine whether they’ve developed the antibodies that possibly give immunity to it. 

This is not the same test that diagnosis the active virus. Rather the antibody test is a blood test that must be administrated two times. If the individual does have the antibodies that means they have been exposed to the coronavirus and have already developed immunity to it.

According to some health experts, the surge of COVID-19 cases is still coming. The donation is part of an effort to protect Jackson Hole's hospital employees, EMS, firefighters, and police officers.

"We don't have the ability to lose one third or one fourth or one half of our staff in the coming weeks," said the president of St. John's Foundation, John Goettler. "And so we really think this test is going to be important for us to manage our way through this."

Goettler said the goal is for the community to know that it is safe to come to the hospital.

"If they have the virus, our hope is that they will wear personal protective equipment. We've got pretty impressive personal protective equipment here," he said. "And we're hoping they'll just wear the personal protective equipment but still perform the roles."

The testing will start as soon as this week. The town of Jackson and all of Teton County are currently under a stay-at-home order in order to mitigate community spread.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Kamila Kudelska, at kkudelsk@uwyo.edu.

Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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