With help from a marijuana lab, this city will test every first responder for COVID antibodies

The City of Greenfield in Monterey County, California began testing all first responders for COVID-19 antibodies on Wednesday. And it’s all thanks to a local cannabis testing laboratory.

CERESLabs approached the city last week and offered to provide the antibody tests free of charge. CERESLabs’ partner ARCpoint Labs will do the blood draws while another partner, Diazyme Laboratories, analyzes the samples under the guidance of the FDA.

Results of the antibody testing will be shared with public health agencies to help them make more informed decisions about the virus. CERESLabs also hopes to expand the pilot program to other cities in Monterey County.

Mayor Lance Walker pointed to the program as a model for public-private partnerships.

“It’s exactly the way it should happen: joining forces in moving forward for the common good.”

Antibody testing has been expanding throughout the United States, as researchers seek to understand just how many people have been infected. Recent serology studies in L.A. and Santa Clara counties suggest the infection rate may be much higher than previously thought. However, experts warn they’re not 100% confident that those with COVID-19 antibodies can't be infected a second time.

Read more at The Salinas Californian.