Results of Local COVID-19 Study Released
Results were released Thursday for a Southwestern Indiana COVID -19 prevalence study. Deaconess Hospital, Indiana University School of Medicine Evansville, the City of Evansville and six large employers conducted the study to find out how the area workforce has been affected by COVID-19.
Over five days in early May, 800 local employeestook COVID-19 nasal swab and antibody tests. Of those 800 people only six tested positive for the virus.
Ten people were found to have COVID-19 antibodies, meaning they likely have had the novel coronavirus at some point.
President of Deaconess Health System Dr. James Porter says he is pleased but not surprised by the low percentage of infection. He, along with Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winneke say local residents’ efforts to slow the spread have paid off and this data should help the community feel confidant moving forward with opening up the economy.
There is one number IU School of Medicine’s Dr. Steven Becker hoped would be higher. Becker said,
“The only way this could have been better is if we had a higher rate of antibody positivity in our community because that would imply we have a lot of people who have already had it and who would probably not be able to get the virus again at least in the short term. This leaves us vulnerable should we get a large bolus of infections.”
Researchers say the results mean good news for getting people back to work but it doesn’t mean it is time to take unnecessary risks.