Bernadette Boden-Albala

Bernadette Boden-Albala

Highly anticipated results from a University of California-Irvine study reveals far more Orange County residents tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies than initially expected, signaling strong initial immunity for the region.

In a study of 3,000 random people, researchers found that 11.5% had antibodies for COVID-19, a far cry from previous estimates of less than 2%.

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Latino and low-income residents had the highest prevalence of antibodies with rates of 17% and 15%, respectively, in line with greater transmission rates.

UCI started the groundwork for the survey in May in conjunction with the OC Health Care Agency.

The study “offers important information about how many residents of Orange County have already been exposed to COVID-19,” according to Bernadette Boden-Albala, director of UCI’s Program in Public Health and founding dean of the campus’s proposed School of Population Health.

“As we look toward the fall and flu season, this data also justifies enhanced planning and resources in communities likely to be hit hardest,” said Boden-Albala, a co-principal investigator on the study.

Go here for more on how the OC business community is responding to COVID-19.