Queen’s to begin 18-month-long COVID antibody study among employees

Queen's Medical Center
Queen's Medical Center(Hawaii News Now/file)
Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 8:14 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Oahu hospital is undertaking a new coronavirus research effort.

Queen’s Health Systems is launching an 18-month-long antibody study. They’re hoping it will help with tracking the virus among its employees.

The voluntary study will be available to all Queen’s physicians and staff. 

Participants will complete a baseline survey and do check-ins at 6, 12 and 18 months.

“So the questions that we still have that we don’t know the answers to quite yet are, ‘What does antibody tests mean?’ In particular for those patients or those people who may have had a COVID infection,” said Dr. Todd Seto, director of research for Queen’s Medical Center.

“There’s good evidence that if you have antibodies to the COVID that you had exposure to the virus.”

But tracking the virus is known to be difficult because some people are said to be asymptomatic carriers.

“We need to learn more about COVID. We need to learn more about how COVID affects our community and affects our workers at Queens,” Seto said.

“We don’t know how it changes over time, particularly as COVID, as the second wave might be coming in the winter, maybe late/early spring,” he added.

Participants will also need to take antibody blood tests. Queen’s estimates about 3,000 to 5,000 of its nearly 9,000 employees system-wide will take part.

Researchers say the study will also let them know if the safety measures in place now at its clinics and four hospitals are working.

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