When a groundbreaking research study designed to measure the spread of COVID-19 launched in Los Angeles, CA the week of April 10, 2020, it didn’t take long for the local news media to take an interest.
Jacqueline Rosales, COO of SoapBoxSample/icanmakeitbetter, appeared on KTLA’s nightly 7 pm news broadcast, explaining to the public the intention of the study and how Angelenos can get involved.
“This is really groundbreaking research, to give us one piece that we are missing,” Jacqueline commented. “Without that piece it’s hard to understand, what is the prevalence, when is the peak, and how do we get people back to work?”
SoapBoxSample, an LRW Group company, recruited hundreds of Angelenos to participate in a new antibody study that took place April 10 and 11 across six testing locations throughout the county of Los Angeles. The new testing strategy hopes to shed light on many of the unanswered questions related to the coronavirus. To date, testing has mainly been performed on those who are very sick (and able to secure a test), and evidence suggests that there may be an unknown number of asymptomatic cases in the population.
“It can potentially identify people that are immune from the disease,” said Dr. Neeraj Sood, Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs and Research at USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, the principle investigator of the research initiative.
Working in partnership with researchers from the University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy and the LA County Health Department, SoapBoxSample, recruited a random sampling of hundreds of LA residents, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, to participate in a finger prick serological test, with the purpose of identifying the presence of COVID-19 antibodies. Researchers hope the results of the study may hold the key to when Southern California and the nation can return to a state of relative normalcy.
“This project gave us the opportunity to lift the spirits of our staff during a very difficult time, said Jacqueline. “Everyone involved in this research initiative was excited to give back to the LA community where we live and work.”