Red Sox players and employees alike will be participating in a league-wide coronavirus antibody study within the next two days, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Per Passan, up to 10,000 people will be tested for coronavirus antibodies as part of this study, which will give researchers “a better sense of how widespread the disease is in major metropolitan areas across the United States, although doctors caution that the data gathered is not expected to hasten the game’s return.”
How these tests operate is quite simple. By using test kits provided by Stanford University, USC and the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory (SMRTL), blood can be drawn via pinprick and results will be available within 10 minutes.
These tests will “will detect the prevalence of IgM, an antibody produced relatively early in those who have been infected with COVID-19, and IgG, a second form that doctors said lasts long after the infection happens. A positive test would confirm a person did in fact contract coronavirus, even if he or she was asymptomatic.”
Tests can be done at home or at club-run testing sites, and they “are absolutely not getting redirected from any kind of frontline testing programs,” according to Dr. Daniel Eichner, the president of SMRTL.
While some individuals in baseball have already taken the test, researchers will collect the rest of the results, which will be accompanied by a photo of the actual test for verification purposes, over the next two days.
Passan likens the test in this case to a pregnancy test, as a line will indicate a positive test for antibodies.
The thousands of results these tests will generate by the end of the week could be pivotal in determining just how widespread this pandemic has become. I’m no expert, but it definitely sounds like a step in the right direction.