Fort Worth ISD officials have announced they will participate in a study examining the prevalence of COVID-19 infections and exposure in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The study is being conducted by UT Southwestern in partnership with Texas Health Resources and local organizations to better understand the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to UT Southwestern, the goal is to understand how many people actually are or have been infected in North Texas and to reduce any further deaths related to the disease. The study is also researching why nearly three out of four patients hospitalized because of COVID-19 are African American or Latino when those groups only make up two-thirds of the DFW population, according to UT Southwestern.
Fort Worth ISD officials said the study is two-fold and includes a random, population-based sample of 30,000 households in Dallas and Tarrant counties. There is also an occupation-based sample of 14,000 high-risk individuals working in non-medical jobs in both counties.
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Fort Worth ISD campus-based employees received an email Thursday with a QR code and links to complete a brief survey. Only employees who have received an invitation may participate in the study, district officials said.
Those who complete the survey will be randomly selected to receive a free COVID-19 nose swab for active infection, a free COVID-19 antibody blood test, quick test results and advice on next steps if an active COVID-19 infection is identified.
Ulises Orozco teaches ninth-grade English at O.D. Wyatt High School in Fort Worth. Orozco received an email on Thursday and said he will likely participate.
"This is a worldwide issue and if me taking a survey is going to lead somebody learning more about it and furthering the study for a cure then yeah, I'm all for it," Orozco said. "It's going to take every single one of us sacrificing just a little or doing just a little bit to get to that next step of where we finally get over this COVID-19 crisis that we're in."
District officials said the study is optional, and there’s no compensation for participating.
“However, campus-based employees are encouraged to answer the call to help in this community-wide effort,” a press release from the district states.
For more information on the study, click here.