Phase 2 of the Washoe County COVID-19 Antibody Study is Underway, Responses Needed

Phase 2 of the Washoe County COVID-19 Antibody Study is Underway, Responses Needed

Participants who were randomly selected are eligible for $50 gift cards

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Reno, Nev. Sept. 18, 2020 – The Washoe County Health District (WCHD) is conducting Phase 2 of the COVID-19 seroprevalence (antibody) project to see if persons had been exposed or infected and since developed an immune response to COVID-19.

The latest deadline to sign up is Sept. 30 but testing is scheduled to begin on Sept. 27.  Participants will be entered into a drawing for one of several $50 Visa gift cards.

Only households that received the mail invitation may participate in the study. Residents cannot opt in.

Invitations were sent last week to 2,098 random households across the county to participate, which will help inform policies and guide plans for COVID-19 prevention. The information to register and other instructions are in the letter that was delivered via mail. Those who received the letters are urged to respond to WCHD as soon as possible.

One adult in each household with the nearest upcoming birthday will receive an antibody test, but other household members may be tested using the standard COVID-19 test. There is no cost to participate.

About 290 participants are needed to ensure that the study is scientifically relevant, according to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria. The participants will receive the antibody test at the Washoe County Health District – Livestock Events Center testing site. The results from the study will be released in late October.

The first COVID-19 antibody testing phase, which was done in conjunction with the University of Nevada, Reno – School of Community Health Sciences and the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory, was completed in July and included 234 participants from 1,270 randomly selected households (summary can be found here).

The results, with a 95 percent confidence interval, provided a more accurate representation of the number of Washoe County residents who had been exposed or infected with COVID-19. This data showed the number of infections was higher than reported, the percentage of COVID-19-related deaths was lower given the increased estimate for the total number of cases, and the Hispanic community was under-represented.

For more information on COVID-19 in Washoe County, visit  

The Washoe County Health District is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board and has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County through the policy-making Washoe County District Board of Health. The District consists of five divisions: Administrative Health Services, Air Quality Management, Community and Clinical Health Services, Environmental Health Services and Epidemiology & Public Health Preparedness. More info can be found here.