Random COVID-19 Tests Being Conducted Door to Door in Minnesota
Starting this week and going until the end of the month, if your address is randomly selected you can expect a visit from a team of local or state health workers that will be in a specially marked car. The Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response, or CASPER teams, will arrive in a car marked "COVID-19 Survey Team." They will be wearing masks, vests with name tags, and you will not be contacted in advance that they will be coming.
Dr. Ruth Lynfield, Minnesota Department of Health state epidemiologist, said in a statement dated Tuesday, Sept. 15 and reported by Duluth News Tribune "Through the CASPER survey, we hope to better understand how COVID-19 is spreading in Minnesota and how it is affecting people. With a new virus, we have to learn as we go and adapt our response based on new data. Information we gather in this survey will allow us to refine our recommendations to best meet the needs of our Minnesota communities in the prevention of COVID-19.”
The team members are hoping to ask you a few questions, take a nasal swab, prick your finger for blood and at some point let you know the results if you currently have or ever have had COVID-19. The survey is voluntary and you can participate in all of it or some of it. They hope to be able to test an average of seven households picked at random in 137 cities totaling about 1,200 households.
In a statement from the Minnesota Department of Health Dr. Lynfield reported by The Duluth News Tribune " We encourage people to participate in the survey if their household is selected. Along with being able to receive free, in-home testing for current and past COVID-19 infection, this is a unique opportunity for people to help us learn more about the impacts of COVID-19 and aid in our efforts to fight this pandemic."
A few months ago I had some symptoms of what I believed was bronchitis and was having trouble breathing with a chronic cough. I did an e-visit with a Dr. and was encouraged to go get a COVID-19 test done which I did, and the results were negative. It was found that I did indeed have bronchitis and was put on an antibiotic. It was honestly a very nerve racking few days waiting for my results and given the fact that I had been going into work, even though I was social distancing and wearing a mask and washing my hands I was nervous for my co-workers. I personally know of many people who do not have insurance and are healthy so they have not felt the need to get tested, but are worried if they do get sick because of the fact they are uninsured.
I do understand the need to test, but I am wondering how the average person would react to strangers coming to their door wanting to conduct these tests. Will they willingly let them come in their house and do these fairly invasive tests? I guess only time will tell if this will be successful, but personally I feel like people right now now more than ever are more Leary of strangers then ever before.