JoCo test of nearly 200 essential workers yields zero positive COVID-19 results

Nearly 24,600 individuals have been tested for COVID-19 in Johnson County. Pictured above, county health workers administer COVID-19 tests to a random sample of essential workers in April. 

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The testing of nearly 200 randomly selected essential workers administered by the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment Friday did not find a single suspected infection.

The sample of 186 individuals, including restaurant workers, first responders and child care workers, was conducted Friday at SM Northwest, the second random testing operation conducted by JCDHE as officials work to get a better sense of how widespread coronavirus infection is in the county.

JCDHE announced this morning it had gotten back results from 173 of the tests it administered last week and that no test had come back positive.

JCDHE Director Sanmi Areola, PhD, said the results suggest that the county’s stay-at-home order and other efforts have helped stem widespread infection in the area. However, he said the county needs to conduct more testing to ensure their assumptions about the prevalence of the disease are correct.

“We are moving in the right direction, but we’re not there yet,” Areola said.

Friday’s event was the second in-person random-sample testing operation conducted by JCDHE. The first event was a sample of the broad Johnson County population, and found 14 positives out of 369 tests processed.

County seeking additional self-reported data on COVID-19 symptoms

The county today also launched a second online population health survey, which asks residents to self report information about COVID-19 symptoms and lack thereof.

“Please fill out the survey accurately and completely for each person in the residence,” Areola said. “Completing the survey is voluntary, but we ask that as many people as possible participate every time you are asked, to recognize how the coronavirus is spreading in the community.”

The survey, which is available here, is now open. It will close at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 24.

Data from the first round of online self-reported data collection found that approximately 5% of the 73,000 respondents claimed to have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection.