INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) — The Indiana University Fairbank School of Public Health updated the public on a randomized coronavirus testing study that they have been conducting.
“When taking multiple, random [samplings] across different time periods, we are able to observe how the virus is affecting Hoosiers over time,” explained Dr. Paul Halverson, Professor & Founding Dean of Fairbanks School of Public Health. “Wave one occurred at the end of April, as you may recall, and recruited more than 4,600 people, including more than 3,600 in a random sample. Wave two tested people from June 3rd – June 8th and included more than 3,600 individuals. [There were] almost 2,700 in the random sample and almost a thousand in the supplemental testing of vulnerable populations in Marion, Allen and LaGrange counties.”
Dr. Halverson explained that the decrease in participation in wave two makes it more challenging to present accurate information.
Dr. Nir Menachemi, Chair of Health Policy & Management at Fairbanks School of Public Heath announced that the study observed fewer active infections and a greater number of people testing positive for antibodies in wave two. This is evidence that the virus has slowed its spread in Indiana.
In phase one, the study observed 1.7% of the population experiencing an active infection and 1.1% of the population tested positive for antibodies. In phase two, the study observed .6% of the population experiencing an active infection while 1.5% was testing positive for antibodies.
Both Dr. Halverson and Dr. Menachemi clarified that this study only tested the subjects at the initial exam; no follow up exam was performed.
Dr. Menachemi said that, “A likely reason that the virus slowed was due to our collective efforts to be safer, engage in social distancing and reduce transmission by wearing masks, and adhering to higher standers around hand and surface hygiene.”
The study also observed that minority communities appear to be “hit harder” by coronavirus than whites in both phase one and phase two.
The study also looked at the infected population percentages by district in phase one and phase two.
Dr. Menachemi concluded by saying that the study estimated that 43% of people who are infected report no symptoms, meaning they are asymptomatic. He reminded the public that those who are asymptomatic can still spread the virus even though they themselves do not show symptoms.
Many states are planning on replicating Indiana’s approach with this study.