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MDH launches door to door COVID-19 study

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) — The past two days, you may be have noticed people going door to door in your neighborhood. It’s not a scam, its the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) conducting a COVID-19 study.

“This is absolutely voluntary,” said MDH Senior Epidemiology Supervisor Stephanie Yendell. “Even within a household, you can have some people that are interested in participating and some people that are not and that’s totally fine.”

Teams of two or three people are going door to door to collect data for the MDH. Three things are being offered, a questionnaire, an anti-body test, and a COVID-19 test.

“A questionnaire gives people an opportunity to tell us information about what has happened for them with COVID-19,” Yendell said. “Then our anti-body tests allow us to look at how many people have likely had COVID-19 in the past. And then we are also offering a PCR test. We did feel that it was important that if people are interesting in finding out if they have COVID-19 now, that we are making that available at the time we have people going door to door.”

Everything is completely free and you can decline to do any parts of the study if you are not comfortable.

“Our teams are going to be very clearly labeled as being part of the Minnesota Department of Health,” Yendell said. “So they will have their state of Minnesota logos on brightly colored vests. They will also be wearing face coverings to protect anyone they are interacting with in the community.”

The teams will not collect any information without your permission and you will never be asked for any financial information.

“The first things we really want to understand is how COVID-19 has spread in Minnesota communities and then we want to understand how that is different in different regions of the state,” said Yendell. “And then we are also really hoping to understand more about how we can help people through that questionnaire.”

MDH is offering an incentive of a $20 gift card for households that do participate. The door to door study will go through Sept. 30.

Sarah Gannon

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