Miami-Dade County will begin randomly screening residents for the novel coronavirus in order to survey the area's estimated rate of infection, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced Friday.
The tests, which will be conducted by the University of Miami School of Medicine in collaboration with a local disaster recovery firm, reportedly take just 15 minutes and a finger prick to reveal whether a person has been exposed to COVID-19.
“No community of our size in the United States has taken on such as study," Mayor Gimenez said in his daily video announcement. "I’m really proud of this public, private and academic partnership."
Disaster Management Group provided Miami-Dade county with more than 200,000 tests this week to begin the program. 750 residents will reportedly be tested each week for several weeks.
According to the company, the tests have between an 89% and 91% accuracy rate, and can detect exposure to COVID-19 within four days of the antibody production in a patient's blood.
“All of us are moving in the dark somewhat in terms of understanding the true burden of coronavirus infection in our community,” said Dr. Erin Kovitz, University of Miami School of Medicine.
“This unique study will provide us the opportunity to estimate the burden of disease, including among individuals who are asymptomatic. Through this work we will be able to better understand who is infected, and more importantly, what we can collectively do about it."