United Biomedical is now working with San Miguel County, which includes the famous Rocky Mountain ski destination, to test all 8,000 residents for COVID-19 antibodies — making it the first community in the country to do widespread antibody testing. The idea, officials said, is to learn from an individual’s blood whether there is evidence the person has already been exposed. With that information, officials can then make decisions about whether quarantines and restrictions would need to continue and whether they need to be as widespread as they are in states and cities across the country right now.

“The goal of this is to show you can predictably get an entire county back to its new normal as quickly as possible by using testing,” said Lou Reese, co-CEO of United Biomedical and its COVAXX subsidiary.

Reese stressed that, if successful, the testing program could be expanded, “starting at the hot-spot areas right now to solve this problem, stop the panic and get people to their lives and back to work.”