Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) is revealing he tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, which indicates he previously contracted the coronavirus.
On Thursday, the Democratic lawmaker released a statement of confirmation on his test results this month. He noted that the discovery of antibodies usually signals immunity but due to the novelty of the coronavirus, many details still remain unclear.
Due to the uncertainty of the protection antibodies provide, Kaine and his wife have vowed to continue practicing social distancing along with other Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
“We each tested positive for coronavirus antibodies this month. While those antibodies could make us less likely to be re-infected or infect others, there is still too much uncertainty over what protection antibodies may actually provide. So we will keep following CDC guidelines,” Kaine said.
Kaine has admitted that in mid-March, he and his wife, Anne Paul, had symptoms they initially thought he may have had the flu or seasonal allergies. However, they were not tested for coronavirus due to the national shortage of testing kits.
While ill, Kaine and his wife both quarantined and worked from home. By early April, they both recovered but as coronavirus reports evolved, they suspected they may have had mild cases of the novel virus.
“We each talked to our health providers in early April and they thought it possible that we had mild cases of coronavirus. We were both at home in Richmond, working remotely and isolated from others,” Kaine said.
Many states are beginning antibody tests, which can help determine how many citizens have already had the virus. The findings will also help determine how much of the United States population has already contracted the virus. However, efforts are still being made to ensure the accuracy of test results.
As of Thursday morning, there are over 1.7 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States and a death toll of more than 100,000.