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With two days down and one to go, the Paris-Lamar County Health District tested 147 people for Covid-19 antibodies by day’s end Wednesday.

“Things are going really well,” Assistant Police Chief Randy Tuttle said.”We’ve got several of these drive-thru sites under our belts, and we have a group of volunteers who are really doing a great job. We’ve got one more day of testing left, and then we will regroup and see what City Council wants us to do next.”

Antibody testing, offered by the City of Paris at a cost of $25, is made available because the city purchased 1,500 tests in mid-April with expectations to offer testing later in the month. A Covid-19 outbreak at Paris Healthcare Center the first week in May diverted health district volunteers and Paris Mayor Steve Clifford canceled planned drive-thru testing at Justiss Elementary.

At the time, there were seven confirmed Covid-19 cases in the county. Today there have been 126 cases confirmed, including 33 recoveries and nine deaths, according to the health district. Seven of the nine deaths are related to the Paris Healthcare Center outbreak, the health district said.

“I think now is the time to begin testing,” Mayor Steve Clifford said at a May 12 meeting upon announcing plans to resume testing.

“I canceled the antibody testing at the time of the outbreak at the nursing homes for a couple of reasons,” Clifford said. “The main reason is we did not have community spread, and we didn’t need to test for antibodies at that point. We subsequently have outbreaks at three separate nursing homes, and it looks like two to three cases of random community spread a day.”

Now, there are people who would like to know if they have had the virus and those who were confirmed with Covid-19 who would like to know if they have antibodies, and thus, a possible element of immunity, Clifford said.

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at mary.madewell@theparisnews.com.

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(1) comment

Judith Malone

I took calls at the EOC to relay to volunteers who registered those wishing to take the antibody trsts. The system of phones and computer monitoring was efficient and ran perfectly. Randy Tuttle had computer tech on site at the registration. I am confident that Paris can handle the logistics of some monumental tasks that might become a need in the future., participating in call reception and registration requires average skills and no exposure at testing site. Leave your number with Randy Tuttle at Paris PD if you could assist in the future.

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