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OXNARD, CA – May 7, 2020 – In an ongoing commitment to the community, Dignity Health St. John’s Regional Medical Center (SJRMC) and the Oxnard Fire Department (OFD) have partnered to administer COVID-19 antibody tests to local first responders. Testing began today and will continue through the following weeks.
“As the only hospital in the area with a high-throughput analyzer to process these tests, St. John’s is honored to partner with the Fire Department,” says St. John’s Regional Medical Center President and CEO, Darren Lee. “Utilizing paramedic responder agencies, test samples will be collected for antibody testing specific to COVID-19.”
“COVID-19 antibody testing for our first responders is an important step to understanding how prevalent the transmission of the disease has been in our community,” says Alexander Hamilton, Assistant Fire Chief of the Oxnard Fire Department. “This initiative is vital to our local planning efforts for further response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to foster the wellbeing of our community.”
Antibody testing will help identify if first responders have been exposed to COVID-19 and developed antibodies for the disease, even if they have not experienced any symptoms. Those with antibodies present may be eligible to donate convalescent plasma to help in the treatment of those battling the virus, which has no vaccine or known treatment.
“Individuals who test positive for the antibody may be eligible to donate convalescent plasma to help hospitalized patients who are critically ill with COVID-19,” said Anthony Migler, MD, Medical Director of Pathology at St. John’s Regional Medical Center. “While we are learning more and more every day about the potential benefits of convalescent plasma, we are pleased to be at the forefront of this research in our community.”
First responder testing will be open to all fire, law enforcement, ambulance, and dispatch agencies.
To learn more about convalescent plasma collection, please visit ConquerCovidTogether.com.
[Photo: Lab at St. John's Regional Medical Center]
About Dignity Health St. John’s Regional Medical Center
St. John’s Regional Medical Center is a 265-bed acute care, award-winning facility. Serving Ventura County for more than one hundred years, St. John’s is the first and only Certified Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center in Ventura County and a recipient of the American Heart Association’s, Get with the Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. Designated as a STEMI Receiving Center, St. John’s is highly recognized in the community for excellence in cardiac care and has been named a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care by Blue Shield of California. Our Cancer Center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and our Integrated Breast Center is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. SJRMC houses a comprehensive Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, providing specialized care to the tiniest patients as well as a Beacon Award-Winning Intensive Care Unit. Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to help meet the growing health care needs of our communities.
About the Oxnard Fire Department
The mission of the Oxnard Fire Department is to serve the public and to safeguard the community by preventing or minimizing the impact of emergency situations to life, environment, and property by responding to both emergency and non-emergency requests. The Oxnard Fire Department provides a full range of emergency and non-emergency services to the community. These include: fire suppression, urban search and rescue, emergency medical service, hazardous material response, vehicle and industrial accident response, ocean and surf rescue, public fire and life safety education, fire investigation, records management, regulation of hazardous material uses, disaster preparedness, community disaster response training, review and inspection of new construction.
Sara San Juan