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Utah's Capitol Hill to get COVID-19 antibody testing

Governor Gary Herbert face mask
Posted at 8:20 AM, Jun 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-20 10:21:01-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Lawmakers and Capitol Hill staffers are being offered antibody tests for COVID-19.

House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, announced the testing offer at the end of Thursday's special session of the Utah State Legislature.

Antibody tests could help determine where the COVID-19 virus has been, and if the person's immune system responded to an infection. The virus began emerging as the 2020 legislative session was winding down in mid-March. Since then, the Capitol has been closed to the public to prevent the spread within state government, which is managing the COVID-19 response effort.

Senate President J. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, recently disclosed he had tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, although he said he did not know when he would have contracted the virus as he did not feel ill. Senate Minority Whip Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City, is the only lawmaker to publicly disclose a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

Governor Gary Herbert told reporters earlier this week he had taken two COVID-19 antibody tests. On Friday, the governor's office told FOX 13 both of those tests came back negative.

The state has continually urged people to follow health guidelines as restrictions loosen statewide, including physical distancing (staying 6-feet apart), wearing face coverings in public, and good hygiene practices.