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

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Baton Rouge leaders, groups and Ochsner Health on Monday announced the launch of a new COVID-19 prevalence study, which is supposed to give insights on the rate of active infections and previous exposures to COVID-19 in the area.

The Baton Rouge COVID-19 Prevalence Study, led by researchers at Ochsner in cooperation with Pennington Biomedical, will provide free COVID-19 PCR testing and antibody testing to a representative sample of Baton Rouge residents, according to Ochsner spokesman Daryl Cetnar.

“Led by Ochsner Principal Investigator Amy Feehan, PhD, data from the study will be analyzed to determine how widespread the virus is in our community and which populations have been most impacted,” Cetnar wrote. “This information will help inform ongoing community reopening plans and provide healthcare providers and leaders with more information about the novel virus.”

Researchers aim to enroll at least 2,500 participants in the study who are at least 18, have not previously tested positive for COVID-19 and are residents of East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Ascension or Livingston Parishes. People interested in the study can learn more by visiting https://testbr.org/.

The study is funded by the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and The Humana Foundation with additional help from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and Healthy Blue.

The launch of the study was announced by Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, Ochsner Health, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

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