As part of the Indiana State Department of Health collaboration with the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI to conduct a scientific study to measure the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state, a mobile test center operated from the Walmart parking lot Tuesday in Frankfort.
“Having the ability to not only test for the presence of this virus, but also to learn more about people who have been exposed in the past and might have antibodies that indicate past infection, will help us fine-tune our work to keep Hoosiers safe from this pandemic,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box. “We are grateful that this partnership will help make that happen.”
The study kicked-off Saturday, and multiple mobile test centers are in use. The first round of testing will consist of a pool of at least 5,000 Hoosiers randomly selected from across Indiana’s 10 emergency preparedness districts.
This is the first of four phases of the study that will take place over the next year.
Participation in the study is by invitation only and approximately 70 invitations were sent out locally for testing today and will include random sample testing for SARS-CoV-2 – the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 viral infections and antibodies in Hoosiers.
“The unprecedented commitment of the state of Indiana to support critical research will allow us to blaze new trails to understand and respond to the pandemic and its impact on Hoosier health and well-being,” said IU Vice President for Research Fred Cate.
In total, at least 20,000 Hoosiers will be tested for the study.
Select members of the public are being asked to participate, by invitation only, to ensure that the sampling is representative of the population. Participants will be notified of their eligibility for the study by mail, text message, email or phone and will be directed to the testing site closest to their residence. Registrants will receive a unique code that they will show at the testing site as proof of participation.
Testing for the study will be conducted at eight fixed and 10 mobile sites around the state from April 25 through April 29. Additional sampling may be added later depending on initial participation levels.
Medical personnel was on-hand to conduct the testing, and Indiana State Police troopers were also at the testing site in the Frankfort Walmart parking lot Tuesday.