Baton Rouge leaders, Ochsner Health launch COVID-19 prevalence study 

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Mayor Sharon Weston Broome, Ochsner Health, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Pennington Biomedical Research Center today announced the launch of a Baton Rouge COVID-19 Prevalence Study. 

The study will provide free COVID-19 PCR testing and antibody testing to a representative sample of Baton Rouge residents. Results will provide insight into the rate of active infections and previous exposure to the virus in the region. 

Led by Ochsner Principal Investigator Amy Feehan, data from the study will be analyzed to determine how widespread the virus is and which populations have been most impacted. This will help inform ongoing reopening plans and provide health care providers and leaders with more information about the novel coronavirus. 

The study’s launch comes just two weeks after results from Ochsner’s Jefferson and Orleans Parish Prevalence Study were unveiled. That study, which tested more than 2,600 volunteers in mid-May, found a prevalence of 7.8%. The study also found that 75% of those with an active infection were asymptomatic or presymptomatic and approximately 40% of individuals with COVID-19 never experience symptoms. 

The goal is to enroll at least 2,500 participants in the study, representing a “mini Baton Rouge.” Residents of all races, ethnicities, ages and neighborhoods are encouraged to volunteer so the study can accurately represent the community. The study is funded by the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and The Humana Foundation, with additional support from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and Healthy Blue. Get more information here. 

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