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Deaconess, IU School of Medicine – Evansville Collaborate on COVID-19 Community Prevalence Study

Deaconess Health System and the Indiana University School of Medicine – Evansville are collaborating for the first local study on COVID-19 prevalence in our community.
This five-day point-in-time study of up to 1,000 people will provide critical insights to help regional leaders and employers better understand how to begin to safely reopen our community. 

The study’s sampling group includes employees from several different workforces and work settings, all from industries essential to reopening our regional economy. 

“We currently don’t know how many people in our community currently have COVID-19, or have been exposed to the virus without developing symptoms. This study will give us the data needed to make safe, informed decisions, and is important to the overall efforts of the Reopen Evansville Task Force,” said Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. “Using information from this study, employers and regional leaders can make better decisions about how to safely reopen workplaces and other aspects of our economy.”

Statistical selection of participants, as well as analysis of results, will be conducted by members of the Indiana Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute, as part of the IU School of Medicine Evansville. Results are anticipated in mid-May, and will enable recommendations to be made for employers and the overall community.

The lead investigator on the study is Majed Koleilat, MD, allergist/immunologist, and medical director of clinical research for the Research Institute of Deaconess Clinic. “This study and its logistics have been designed in a way to be replicated in any community in our region, and for the community’s data to be easily merged to provide a larger view,” said Dr. Koleilat.  “The focus is on the local workforce, which is crucial to drive safe and effective policy decisions for the local economy.”

It is anticipated that this is only the first of many local and regional COVID-19 prevalence studies that will take place over the coming months.

“This is the first of hopefully many phases of testing. What we learn from this testing will be used to design and implement future rounds of testing,” said Dr. Steven Becker, Associate Dean and Director, IU School of Medicine - Evansville.
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