5-14-20 Edition

Page 5

Be safe. Stay Strong.

May 14, 2020 • THE VILLAGER | PAGE 5

COVID testing – The Basics

As Colorado and the rest of the country slowly reopen after the COVID pandemic, there is much talk about testing. Some say testing is not helpful or practical while others claim that the entire population needs to be tested before we have even a prayer of life returning to semi-normal. Both are incorrect and hopefully this will serve as a short primer on COVID testing. There are two types of tests, an antigen test and an antibody test. Both have their place, but neither is a magic bullet. Antigen testing is based on PCR technology able to detect minute amounts of viral antigen,


Anti-Semitism Alive and Well Whereas Anti-Jewish sentiment is low in most parts of our country, that is certainly not the case in New York. According to the Wall Street Journal, New York’s Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted “ My message to the Jewish community , and all communities, is simple: The time for warnings has passed. I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to

Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners’ Statement on Recent Threats to TriCounty Health Department

The Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners was deeply troubled to learn of the recent threats against the Tri-County Public Health Department. While we understand the frustration around the restrictions we’ve all been living under for the past few months, Tri-County officials are using their considerable expertise to make very difficult decisions about an unprecedented public health crisis. By state law, Tri-County has the authority to make such decisions, and the Board supports their statutory obligation to issue orders that are designed to protect our residents from harm. We realize there will be differing political and personal opinions about these choices, but it is simply unacceptable when those differences rise to the level of violent threats against public officials. The Board is continuing to work closely with Tri-County, as well as with other community leaders and stakeholders, to determine the safest and most productive ways to begin returning our communities to their everyday operations. Neither the recommendations we make about this situation, nor the actions we take, can possibly satisfy everyone. But we are unified in our desire to use the best available data to take actions that help ensure the health and safety of all our residents, and we strongly condemn any efforts to threaten or intimidate the officials whose duty is to make these choices. Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners

Policy for letters to the editor

The Villager encourages letters to the editor. Letters should be no longer than 250 words and are subject to editing for length, clarity and libel. Priority will be given to submissions about the newspaper’s content and/or issues of community concern. A phone number, not for publication, should be included for verification purposes. Letters must be emailed to editorial@villagerpublishing.com. Please include city of residence.

which covers the surface of the virus, from nasal swabs or saliva. This test will tell you if you have virus in your body at the time of the test. But it won’t tell you if you were infected a month ago or if you are susceptible to infection next week. It’s only a snapshot in time. Think of police radar noting your speed at a given moment without regard to how fast you were driving before or after the recording. If one is sick with virus symptoms, it is reasonable to be tested although treatment is based on symptoms, not simply a positive test. Regardless of test results, one would still be considered conta-

gious and should self-quarantine or be hospitalized, whether their symptoms are due to COVID or in uen a. Antibodies are formed after previous infection and COVID antibody tests will tell you if you had been infected in the past. They cannot determine if you are currently infectious as it takes several weeks for antibodies to the virus to develop after infection. Presumably antibodies mean that you are protected from future infection from COVID, but not necessarily. These tests are useful to track COVID in the population so we can know what percent of people have been infected, and how many infected are asymptomatic versus extremely ill. It also allows an accurate calculation of the death

rate. We know how many people have died from the virus, although that number itself may be wildly inaccurate, but the true death rate depends on how many were infected. Problems remain as the tests are new and their accuracy may be suboptimal. An antibody test telling someone they have immunity, when they don’t, can be dangerous to them and others. Antigen testing for the entire US population of 325 million is impossible. And it would only answer who had virus in their body at the time of testing, not who recovered from previous infection or who has yet to be exposed. And several days later such testing would have to be repeated as people either get exposed or recover from the virus, changing the test results. Testing the entire population

summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.” However, in New York this often applies to only the Jewish community. Again the WSJ notes that police have been called to arrest Jewish families out for a stroll in public

parks, while other families are free to roam at will. Summonses have been issued to Orthodox Jewish families attending funerals, while other larger funerals are allowed to proceed uninterrupted. This anti-Semitic harassment is occurring even though the Hasidic Jewish infection rates

are significantly lower than the New York City average. This bigoted behavior by the mayor is even more startling when you look at the crowded subways that occur every day with no harassment or summons to the riders. Thank goodness our mayors in Colorado aren’t singling out the Jewish


three times a week is a billion tests per week and impractical. If such testing is necessary to reopen the economy, then just turn out the lights and say game over. Questions also remain about antibody testing. How soon after infection does one develop antibodies? How long will antibodies protect one from reinfection? Immunity from one strain of cold virus isn’t protective against the next one yet previous infection with measles or mumps confers lifetime immunity. What will COVID immunity look like? Such testing is important but will evolve over time in terms of accuracy and utility. Waiting for the perfect test however is a fool’s errand as one doesn’t and may never exist. Reopening the economy must rely on more than simply testing.

community for harassment because of the coronavirus. So the question must be asked. Why is the mayor of one of America’s largest cities so biased against the Jewish community? Charles Newton Highlands Ranch

Safer at Home COVID-19 UPDATE Learn more about the transition to the state’s Safer at Home order and what it means for you, your job and your community. Visit arapahoegov.com/covid19 Aid to Agency Grant Program Applications are now open for the County’s annual funding program for nonprofit organizations that serve at-risk populations. Deadline is June 15, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. Visit arapahoegov.com/AidtoAgencies

6ft Find Open Spaces Near You Get outdoors, recreate responsibly, and enjoy the spaces that you make possible with the one-quarter cent Sales and Use Tax. Visit arapahoegov.com/openspaces

Colorado PEAK If you need financial or benefits assistance during this crisis, Arapahoe County Human Services and Colorado PEAK can help. Visit Colorado.gov/PEAK A/D Works! Let Arapahoe/Douglas Works! work for you. Access COVID-19 resources for jobs, housing, businesses and more. Visit ADWorks.org or call 303-636-1160