Even Florida's 1% Got Tested
Everyone on Fisher Island, located just south of Miami Beach, can get tested for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
And, there is no waiting in line for this exclusive Florida community.
Local media reported on April 13, 2020, Fisher Island purchased thousands of rapid COVID-19 blood test kits from the University of Miami Health System.
These tests, which is a finger-prick blood test, manufactured by BioMedomics Inc., detect the presence, or not, of antibodies, which could determine who has already had the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and is likely immune.
The medical director for the university’s clinic on Fischer Island, Elizabeth Greig, suggested in an April 7, 2020 message, Fisher Island has a unique role to play in the university’s antibody testing efforts.
‘UM and the City of Miami have partnered to conduct first of its kind surveillance-- with the notion that counts are likely significantly below what testing of actively sick people is revealing.’
‘The goal here is to find areas of significant spread, and to prioritize resources to potentially disproportionately affected communities.’
‘We have a different role in this public health initiative-- to monitor how spread occurs in a nearly contained environment, unlike anywhere else in the world, and to figure out how testing early and often could change the course of this disease.’
‘This is why we are not doing random sampling, but the entire island,’ Greig wrote.
Greig recommended that only people without symptoms take the tests, given that they aren’t recommended for diagnosing the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
After a few days of testing on the island, Greig said to local media the results ‘mirror the unfortunate hypothesis of the study — that there are more positive people out there than we knew about, that the virus may have been circulating in South Florida for longer than we appreciate.’
‘And that it is clear that you can be positive and not appreciate having any symptoms at all.’
Nonetheless, Greig said, she had not yet found any evidence of community spread on Fischer island, though she noted it was still early in the review process.
In a statement, the University of Miami acknowledged that providing the tests to Fisher Island, though in accordance with its health system’s clinical standards, “may have created the impression that certain communities would receive preferential treatment.”
“That was not our intent,” the university said through Lisa Worley, a spokeswoman.
Sissy DeMaria Koehne, a spokesperson for the island, told The New York Times that the 1,800 tests cost $17 dollars each.
Government data shows Fischer Island now has less than 10 confirmed cases, compared to Miami-Dade County's 7,863, reports local media.
According to a recent announcement, coronavirus testing will soon be available at local pharmacies.
On April 8, 2020, Health Secretary Alex Azar issued a statement: "Giving pharmacists the authorization to order and administer COVID-19 tests to their patients means easier access to testing for Americans who need it.”
“Pharmacists play a vital role in delivering convenient access to important public health services and information.”
There are various laboratory tests that can identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens.
SARS-CoV-2 testing news published by Precision Vaccinations.