NewsHealth / April 23, 2020

State Partners With Fairbanks School On Widespread COVID-19 Study

Article origination IPBS-RJC
State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box says the study, over the course of several months, will test thousands of Hoosiers for the virus.  - Screenshot of Zoom call

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box says the study, over the course of several months, will test thousands of Hoosiers for the virus.

Screenshot of Zoom call

Indiana is partnering with the Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI on a study that hopes to capture the true spread of COVID-19 in the state.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box says the study, over the course of several months, will test thousands of Hoosiers for the virus.

“If you’re chosen to participate, please do so," Box says. "The validity of this study really depends on us having an accurate representation of all Hoosiers, all across this state.”

The state hopes to test 5,000-7,000 people in each wave of the study, with the first beginning immediately. People will be contacted by the State Department of Health via postcards, phone calls, text messages or emails.

Nir Menachemi, chair of the Fairbanks School Health Policy and Management Department, says because COVID-19 testing has thus far been limited to symptomatic and high-risk people, there’s a lot the state doesn’t know.

“It seems like we’re only looking at the tip of the iceberg," Menachemi says. "What our study allows us to do is look below the water and see the entire iceberg and try to get a sense of how large it is and how it’s affecting different communities, perhaps, differently.”

READ MORE: Can I Go For A Walk? Here's What The Updated 'Stay-At-Home' Order Really Does

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State officials say the study’s results – which could start to come as soon as next week – will help direct both short- and long-term responses to the pandemic.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.

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