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Noted: Orenstein: COVID Tracking

Natalie Orenstein: UC Berkeley to track asymptomatic COVID-19 spread in East Bay by testing 5,000 people 'Researchers want to understand much more about asymptomatic transmission of the coronavirus in the East Bay, so they’re launching a major longitudinal study following at least 5,000 local people who show no sign of the disease. They hope the results will guide policy and preventive measures. “We have no idea how many asymptomatic people are walking around with detectable virus,” said Lisa Barcellos, who’s leading the study with Eva Harris. “This is a real-time capture of how things are now and how they’ll change.” The researchers will come up with a 5,000-person group representative of the population in the East Bay—on the bay side, from Hercules through Oakland.... Ultimately Barcellos and Harris expect to produce a trove of data on asymptomatic spread by zip code, age, sex, and race/ethnicity. While there are disturbing reports across the country of higher COVID-19 death rates for black people, for example, there are not a lot of hard data on risk factors yet, and generally “what we know is coming from cases that were hospitalized,” said Barcellos. “A representative, population-based sample is much more informative from a public health perspective,” said Barcellos, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics... #berkeley #coronavirus #noted #publichealth #2020-05-18