DABO, Quest Diagnostics, Choose Healthy Life, Wayne Health, and WSU join forces to offer free COVID-19 antibody testing
DETROIT – The Detroit Association of Black Organizations (DABO) is working with Quest Diagnostics, Choose Healthy Life, Wayne Health and Wayne State University to launch a campaign that not only helps Detroiters get tested for COVID antibodies, but also shows the impact of COVID-19 on the community. The Think Act Know campaign will provide free COVID-19 antibody testing to the Detroit community during its duration. This campaign is just one of many initiatives to help in the fight against COVID-19.
The campaign is supported by Quest Diagnostics, which is providing financial and in-kind support.
“Quest Diagnostics is supporting this work to gain essential insights in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and our ongoing efforts to address healthcare disparities in underserved populations,” said Ruth Clements, Vice President and General Manager of Infectious Diseases & Immunology and leader for Quest for Health Equity at Quest Diagnostics. “Elements of this initiative will help us to identify opportunities to help improve health outcomes for some of our most vulnerable populations.”
The antibody test is a blood test that detects antibodies from a prior or recent COVID-19 infection. Although antibody testing does not detect an active COVID-19 infection, it is still important to know your antibody status. Results will be made available as soon as 24 hours.
“Not everyone wants to be vaccinated. However, it is very possible that persons who have experienced COVID-19 may have developed the immune system necessary that they are in fact protected,” said Conrad Mallett, Deputy Mayor, City of Detroit. “If you’ve been infected or been exposed to someone that’s been infected, the theory is that you may have developed immunity. We don’t know and that’s the question that Quest Diagnostics is trying to answer. So please come and get tested. Let’s see if we really are more immune from COVID-19 than we know.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “A situation in which a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to an infectious disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness) to make its spread from person to person unlikely. Even individuals not vaccinated (such as newborns and those with chronic illnesses) are offered some protection because the disease has little opportunity to spread within the community. Also known as herd immunity.” Experts warn that it is unknown how much protection the antibodies provide or how long the protection lasts. It is a good idea to follow public health’s advice about safety precautions, especially if you are at higher risk of severe disease.
“This testing initiative will help us have a better sense of where Detroit is with herd immunity,” said Rev. Horace Sheffield, III, executive director, DABO. “Our numbers will be based on the percentage of those vaccinated and those who acquired antibodies as detected by serology testing.”
Think Act Know is targeting the following zip codes: 48204, 48227, 48221, 48238, and 48219. However, anyone in metro Detroit can be tested for COVID-19 antibodies.
“We began Detroit’s first community-based antibody testing program with Rev. Sheffield and DABO in April 2020 and are honored to work with his team again on this effort,” said Dr. Phillip Levy, Professor of Emergency Medicine at Wayne State University and Chief Innovation Officer at Wayne Health. “Antibody testing is an important component of public health surveillance and provides valuable information on prior exposure to COVID-19. The more people who come out and get tested, the more will know about just how much this pandemic has affected our community.”
Early supporters of the campaign include McGregor Foundation, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, CLASS Agency, and Detroit Health Department.
“Choose Healthy Life focuses on raising awareness, delivering education and addressing health disparities in the Black community through the Black church – the most trusted institutions in our community,” said Debra Fraser-Howze, founder of Choose Healthy Life. “Under the leadership of Rev. Sheffield, DABO and Black churches in Detroit are part of a national effort on the ground to combat COVID-19 and proactively address health disparities in our communities.”
Many people that tested positive for COVID-19 never showed any symptoms. Those who were never formally diagnosed with COVID-19 and those who want to know if they have detectable levels of COVID-19 antibodies are ideal for testing at the Sheffield Center, 12048 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48204. This free testing site will accept walk-in’s from 9am to 6pm weekdays through July 21. However, appointments are highly encouraged. Appointments can be made on-line at www.thinkactknow.com.
About the Detroit Association of Black Organizations: Since 1979, the Detroit Association of Black Organizations (DABO) has uplifted, unified, and empowered Detroit’s African American community through various programs, initiatives, and events. DABO is a federation of over 130 Black, and non-Black organizations working to build community unity. For more information, please visit dabodetroitinc.com
About Quest Diagnostics: Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world’s largest database of clinical lab results, our diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve health care management. Quest annually serves one in three adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the United States. Our nearly 50,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and with the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire actions that transform lives. www.QuestDiagnostics.com.
About Choose Healthy Life: Choose Healthy Life Black Clergy Action Plan is a program developed by D. Fraser Associates (DFA) based on the DFA Choose Healthy Life Standard – a sustainable, scalable, and transferable approach to public health. The highly successful Standard was created by Debra Fraser-Howze, principal at DFA and founder of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS to address the AIDS epidemic. It is centered around the Black church – the oldest and most trusted institutions in the Black community. Partnering with United Way agencies, local health departments, and community health organizations, churches receive the necessary resources, training and support to make available health services to the region’s most vulnerable individuals. The Choose Healthy Life Black Clergy Action Plan has been made possible through the support of founding partner Quest Diagnostics, the Quest Diagnostics Foundation, and from Resolve to Save Lives, a global health initiative focused on helping advance scalable, proven strategies to prevent and address epidemics. To learn more visit ChooseHealthyLife.org.