Washington University in St. Louis, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health and other collaborators are conducting a survey of St. Louis County residents and offering COVID-19 testing to gauge the prevalence of and risk factors for the illness. St. Louis County is funding the study with about $2 million from its CARES Act allocation in order to better understand the impact of COVID-19 in St. Louis County.
Working with the county, Washington University’s Institute for Public Health is teaming up with other local public health and health-care providers to conduct a phone survey of up to 5,000 St. Louis County residents. Participants will be selected in a statistically random way so that responses from these 5,000 participants will shed light on the experiences of St. Louis County residents most broadly. Participants will be offered free COVID-19 testing at convenient locations across the county, regardless of whether they have symptoms. They will be offered either diagnostic testing to detect active COVID-19 infection or antibody testing to detect previous infection. Transportation to and from testing sites will be provided free of charge to those who need it.
The 30-minute phone survey will include questions about age, race, and gender, and how the virus has affected participants. Those who complete the survey and a test will receive Visa gift cards to help compensate them for their time and effort. When residents receive a call to participate in the survey, their caller ID will say: COVID19 STL Survey.
All participants will be notified of their test results. Those who test positive for COVID-19 will receive a thermometer, a pulse oximeter to monitor oxygen levels in the blood and a face mask and hand sanitizer to help prevent the spread of infection to others. Medical personnel will follow up with anyone who tests positive to check on symptoms, at no cost to the participant.
Yesterday, one of our long-time nurses was injured in the accident at the health department's South County Health Center. We are praying for her full recovery and want her family and her friends and colleagues to know our thoughts are with them during this time.
Please note that the South County Health Center located in Sunset Hills is back to normal business operations. COVID-19 testing was uninterrupted and for anyone looking to make an appointment please click here for additional information.