Focusing on You: COVID-19 Community Surveillance Effort

2 min read  |  April 21, 2020  | 

Sylvester researchers are partnering with Miami-Dade County to help assess the prevalence of COVID-19 throughout the county with a new program known as SPARK-C, the Surveillance Program Assessing Risk and Knowledge of Coronavirus.


Narrator: Focusing on You, Innovations in Modern Medicine from your team of experts at UHealth, the University of Miami Health System.

Pam Giganti: A new effort led by researchers at the University of Miami Health System in conjunction with Miami-Dade County is helping shed light on the true scope of COVID-19 in South Florida’s epicenter.

Dr. Erin Kobetz: It’s one of the largest efforts of its kind and will provide some real information that the mayor can use for operational decision-making as well as a public health response.

Pam Giganti: UHealth research scientist, Dr. Erin Kobetz heads up the initiative known as SPARK-C, the Surveillance Program Assessing Risk and Knowledge of Coronavirus. Over the course of several weeks, three to 4,000 randomly selected Miami Dade residents are being tested for antibodies to the novel Coronavirus.

Dr. Erin Kobetz: We’re trying to assess the broad community and to determine how prevalent the infection is throughout the community.

Pam Giganti: Through a drive-through finger prick test, participants will know if they have been exposed to the virus even if they have not become sick. Participants are notified of their results within a couple of hours. Randomly selected residents get a prerecorded call for Mayor Gimenez.

Dr. Erin Kobetz: There’s a lot to learn here, and my goal is to take what we collect in terms of data and to use it to catalyze public action.

Tags: community outreach, COVID-19, public health

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