ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Voluntary antibody testing of Alpharetta’s first responders has revealed 10 police officers and firefighters have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, an indication they have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

The positive antibody indicator does not mean the individuals currently have COVID-19; only that their bodies’ immune systems were triggered by previous infection.

The 10 employees have undergone swab testing to determine if they currently have COVID-19, and none tested positive for infection.

“The safety of the public and our employees is always our primary concern, and we follow all of the protocols recommended by public health agencies to help identify employees who are symptomatic of possible COVID-19 infection and remove them from the workplace,” Alpharetta Mayor Jim Gilvin said.

“Because some may contract COVID-19 but have very mild or even no symptoms, however, public health officials believe the disease may have infected more people and had a wider spread than is currently known.”

Gilvin said the city offered voluntary testing to first responders to understand how the virus may spread, learn how effective protective protocols have been and help plan for future pandemics.

Alpharetta was the first municipality in Georgia to provide COVID-19 antibody testing to first responders in May.

— Patrick Fox

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