The Williamson County Commissioners Court approved an approximate $6,900 purchase of coronavirus antibody tests to be used on first responders only during its May 12 meeting.
Each test is $47.50, allowing the county to test 145 paramedics for the presence of IgG antibodies, the type that is developed after exposure to the novel coronavirus.
Mike Knipstein, the director of Williamson County Emergency Management Services, said in an email attached to the agenda the purchase would allow all county paramedics to be tested but will remain optional.
"[The testing] will be an additional piece of information available to [Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell] and local businesses about when we can safely move to the next phase of reopening," Knipstein said.
Knipstein added the tests are a marker for who has had and recovered from the disease, as well as providing insight into the extent to which the virus has affected first responders.
The tests will be purchased from Front Line Mobile Health for a total of $6,887.50, the agenda said.
The court also approved a $16,855 purchase of protective shields to be used by the Williamson County Elections Department's polling location check-in tables and an $8,352 purchase for tempered glass partitions for various Justice Center offices to help reduce the spread of the virus.