Random, voluntary testing for COVID-19 antibodies starts today in metro neighborhoods

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — The next battleground in the fight to stop the coronavirus could be your living room.

Starting today, health experts visited randomly selected homes in Fulton and DeKalb counties to conduct antibody surveys.

It’s a partnership between the county health boards, Georgia Department of Public Health and Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This information will let us know how widespread COVID-19 has been in the community and also let us better plan prevention strategies,” said Jacqueline Tate, with the CDC.

The agencies will have teams visit randomly selected homes through May 4. People will be asked to answer questions and provide a blood sample for antibody tests.

Only homes that are selected can participate and the survey and samples are strictly voluntary.

“We encourage everyone who is visited by the teams to participate in this very important survey that can help public health officials assess how widespread COVID-19 is in certain areas,” said DPH commissioner Dr. Kathleen E. Toomey. “This is another way that Georgians can play a role in helping fight this virus.”


Antibody tests will not detect active cases, but they can help officials better understand how many people may have already been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

Patients should still rely on testing sites to determine if they have the virus. Here is more information on how you can get tested.

The DPH says Fulton and DeKalb counties were selected because community transmission of confirmed COVID-19 cases is occurring in these counties.

“There is still a lot we don’t know about COVID-19 infections. We don’t know how long they will be protected. We don’t know if they will be protected against future infections,” Tate said.

If someone shows up at your door, officials say the workers will be clearly identified as someone from the CDC.

“Everyone will be wearing a CDC vest to identify them, and a CDC badge with them as well and a letter from the CDC explaining the purpose of the study,” Tate said.

The Georgia Department of Public Health has more general information on how antibody testing works here.