Antibody Study Shows COVID-19 May Have Infected 5.9% of Riverside County Residents, to Date
August 3, 2020, Los Angeles, CA — In an effort to understand and slow the spread of COVID-19, SoapBoxSample partnered with Riverside University Health Systems to test a representative sample of Riverside County residents for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies in their blood. The study was unique because it included adults and children aged 5 and older. This test was administered to 1,726 county residents to gain a more accurate picture of the spread of the virus in Riverside County.
Based on the county’s study, officials estimate there have been between 118,000 and 175,400 infections in Riverside County. On the low end, that would be 235% higher than confirmed case totals; on the high end, it would mean a confirmed infection prevalence that is 431% higher than the county’s current total number of confirmed cases. Riverside County has about 2.5 million residents.
SoapBoxSample recruited a random sample of Riverside residents through their proprietary sampling techniques, designed to ensure reach and diversity. Study participants were included via invitation only. Residents were not allowed to volunteer to be a part of the study, so that health officials could obtain a representative sample of the community, which is a critical component of the study. The study showed a positivity rate of nearly 6%, and officials used that percentage to estimate how many residents likely had the virus by applying the positivity rate to the overall population. These results emphasize the need to practice safe social distancing by wearing face masks and keeping 6 feet of distance from others.
“It is an honor to work on such impactful point-in-time research. We are incredibly proud of the work we’ve done here, assisting Riverside County with understanding the true spread of COVID-19 within their community. We will continue to partner with county officials, medical professionals, scientists and epidemiologists. We have a lot to learn about antibodies beyond just the prevalence.” said Jacqueline Rosales, SoapBoxSample COO.
“We continue to learn new information about coronavirus, and this survey adds important research to the growing knowledge of COVID-19,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez.
SoapBoxSample attracted attention from the local and national news media last March when the results of their serosurveillance study of Los Angeles County was released. The study, which tested 863 LA County residents, revealing a positivity rate of 4.06%, was conducted in partnership with the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Department of Health. SoapBoxSample recruited the participants, developed the research instrument and designed the results portals, where residents learn the status of their tests. Read the full article in the Journal of the American Medical Association here.