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National Guard lends a hand at COVID-19 testing sites

18 locations around the state
Guard Covid Study.jpg
Posted at 11:25 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 23:25:20-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Soldiers and airmen from the Indiana National Guard assisted the Indiana State Department of Health and local agencies at 18 newly-established COVID-19 study test sites this week.

The initiative by the state and the Indiana University Richard Fairbanks School of Public Health is attempting to get a better handle on the prevalence of COVID-19 among Hoosiers. The testing allowed medical professionals to explore alternative means for treating the virus until there's an effective vaccine.

“This is exactly the kind of innovative Hoosier thinking and action taking we are known for,” said Governor Eric Holcomb. “In terms of thoroughness, I would put this studying project up against any other project in the country that we have been looking at.”

Randomly selected 10,000 people from across the state received invitations requesting their assistance in the study to ensure results accurately reflected racial, ethnic and geographic demographics.

“This study will give us better understanding of the extent to which individuals are showing antibodies that indicate signs of past infection,” said Dr. Kristina Box, ISDH commissioner. “We believe this data will better inform our plans to safely reopen our state and determine what the new normal mode of operation looks like.”

Testing took place at multiple locations in 54 counties throughout the state, with guard members and other medical personnel obtaining samples from the study participants.

“We are very grateful to our medics from the National Guard for taking blood samples and the EMS workers who will work to collect specimens,” said Box. “It truly does take a village to pull off something like this, and we are grateful to everyone who is contributing their part for this study.”