In the name of fighting COVID-19, Harris County (Texas’s largest county) health officials announced a plan that includes randomly knocking on doors to collect blood samples. “Teams of health workers wearing yellow vests will make their rounds from Nov. 15 through Dec. 15, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.” reports the Houston Chronicle.

Their plan, they say, is to better determine how many people have been infected with Coronavirus by conducting antibody tests.

More from the Houston Chronicle:

Harris County Public Health will survey residents for COVID-19 antibodies in an effort to determine how many people already have been infected with the novel coronavirus, the department said.

Beginning Sunday, health workers will visit randomly selected homes and ask residents to answer questions and provide blood samples.

Humans produce antibodies, proteins in the immune system, to fight infections from viruses and other pathogens. It can take days or weeks for antibodies to develop following exposure to the coronavirus, and it remains unclear how long they remain in an individual’s blood.

The Houston region has recorded 236,704 COVID-19 cases since the virus arrived here in March, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis, but health officials estimate this is only a fraction of the total number of infections.

According to the local ABC affiliate, the Health Department has the following goals:

  • Understand what caused COVID-19 to spread in certain areas.

  • Understand how COVID-19 has spread in Harris County.

  • Understand how COVID-19 transmission and infection rates differ among communities.

  • Determine the effectiveness of containment strategies that have been utilized during the pandemic.

  • Identify the percentage of Harris County residents infected with COVID-19 with no symptoms.

  • Improve public health messaging to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Nothing about these numbers suggests justifying a door-to-door campaign. Nothing. 1% fatality rate. ONE PERCENT. Particularly considering Houston is the fourth largest city in the country.


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