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Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Officials Talk Coronavirus Immunity, Testing

Officials with Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital took to social media Wednesday to answer questions about the coronavirus pandemic and the hospital’s response to it, including testing and the possibility of immunity to the COVID-19 virus.

COVID-19 Q&A

Join us on Facebook Live at 4:45 p.m. when we host another COVID-19 Q&A session with Larry Kidd, Ph.D., Henry Mayo’s Senior Vice President & Chief Clinical Officer, and Bud Lawrence, MD, Medical Director of Henry Mayo's Emergency Department. Questions from pas broadcasts will be addressed, and viewers can also submit questions for upcoming sessions.

Posted by KHTS Radio on Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Henry Mayo’s Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer Larry Kidd, Ph.D., hosted the livestream with Bud Lawrence, MD, who serves as the medical director of Henry Mayo’s emergency department.

The pair opened up the stream by thanking the community for their support by donating supplies and funds to Henry Mayo during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re very thankful for the partnership with our community,” Lawrence said. “Thank you all who’ve already donated.”

While addressing a question regarding when the state of California’s “apex” for the number of positive coronavirus cases would be, Lawrence noted that he expects to see numbers rise as testing is made more available.

“I don’t want anyone to freak out about that,” he said. “That is absolutely expected. If you’re testing more people, you’re going to find more of the positives. So I think we need to keep everything in context, and stay level-headed about this as we move forward into these really crucial next couple of weeks.”

Lawrence also addressed the possibility of testing people for immunity to the virus, stating that a test does exist to measure a person’s levels of Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and Immunoglobulin M (IgM), which Lawrence describes as “your body’s response to having had an infection.”

However, the tests are not readily abundant at the moment.

“We are eagerly awaiting that test,” Lawrence said. “I think that test will be extremely helpful on the healthcare front. So, for example, if both Dr. Kidd and I are in the emergency department and he has had this test, and it shows that he has the IgG in his system, he is potentially at less risk for getting COVID-19, because he’s theoretically already had it.”

Despite the existence of these tests, officials do not yet know if having the virus later confers a lifelong immunity to it, or if it confers a limited window of immunity.

“There are a lot of unknown questions that once the dust settles here, as a healthcare provider, it’ll be a very exciting time to learn so much about this disease process,” Lawrence said. “But those are unfortunately things that we don’t have answers to just yet.”

Kidd and Lawrence also discussed facemasks, handling food products and surgeries before signing off for the evening.

“I can’t express to you all enough how much we at the hospital appreciate the support from the community, both in donations and food,” Lawrence said. “You are our lifeline, and we are so thankful for you.”

To view the full livestream, check out the video above or click here.

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Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Officials Talk Coronavirus Immunity, Testing

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About Michael Brown

Michael Brown has lived in Santa Clarita his whole life. Graduating from Saugus High School in 2016, he continued to stay local by attending The Master’s University, where he is currently studying communications. Michael joined KHTS in January of 2018 as a news intern, and has since gone on to become the After Hours News Director for the KHTS Newsroom. Since joining KHTS, Michael has covered many breaking news stories (both on scene and on air), interviewed dozens of prominent state and federal political figures, and interacted with hundreds of residents from Santa Clarita. When he is not working, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, as well as reading any comic book he can get his hands on.