ARLEE — Workers at an Arlee manufacturing plant were offered a free opportunity to get a COVID-19 antibody test on Wednesday as a national company is working to keep its employees in their small town location safe.
Designs For Health, a manufacturer of nutritional supplements and nutraceuticals, offered free COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing to employees at their Arlee location Wednesday afternoon.
“We have people really involved in the critical manufacturing of these products, in quality control, and analytical testing, and shipping, and we need to have a very healthy work-force," Chief Medical Officer Dr David Brady said.
Arlee is one of four Designs For Health (DFH) locations around the country, and employees about 100 workers. Their products are designed, manufactured, and made available specifically to physicians and other health care providers, and cannot be found over-the-counter.
The Arlee location has seen its volume and production nearly double in the last few weeks, in conjunction with the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have a lot of products specifically for immune health, and to keep people healthy during this type of crisis," said Brady. "They are really valuable and under incredible demand right now.”
About half of the employees of the Arlee staff volunteered for the IGG and IGM antibody testing which required a quick blood draw. The test will enable participating employees to determine what -- if any -- exposure they have had to COVID-19.
“It will allow us to tell, you know, how many people were likely exposed before and have some level of immunity, how many people have probably never been exposed and have no immunity, and potentially people who have the kind of antibody patterns associated with an ongoing or an active infection.” Brady explained.
DFH hopes this testing will allow their employees to remain safe and continue to perform at their highest level at a time where they are seeing extremely high demand. Brady told MTN News that this is one of the first FDA validated COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody tests developed.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article identified Designs For Health Chief Medical Officer as Dr. David Blake. The correct name is Dr. David Brady.