Researchers at UC Irvine are performing an antibody study to identify people in Santa Ana who have already been infected with the coronavirus.
The study is looking to collect blood samples through finger pricks from 8,000 participants, who visit drive-up testing sites at Valley High School and Saddleback High School. It boasts an accuracy rate of 99% for detecting when people have not contracted the virus and a 94% accuracy rate for identifying those who have been infected, according to UC Irvine researchers.
Only Santa Ana residents are being tested. The university has identified the city as being in greater need of the information than less hard hit areas of Orange County. Currently, 19,036 cases of coronavirus have surfaced in Santa Ana — nearly a fifth of the 97,302 cases in the county.
“We know here at UCI Santa Ana is one of the communities being hit the hardest,” said Shivani Patel, a site manager for the university’s public health program. “We’re here, trying to help out, lend a helping hand and see how hard they’re actually being hit and get those numbers.”
People were being tested Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at a drive-up site at Valley High School, where testing will be performed during the same hours Saturday. Next week, from Tuesday through Saturday, Santa Ana residents can visit Saddleback High School during the same hours to get tested.
Leo Campo, who took part in the study Friday, said he has read about people who have been infected but were asymptomatic and wanted to see if maybe he was one of them.
“It does pique my interest and I’m curious to see if maybe I had it early in the pandemic,” Campo said.
No reservations are needed to get tested and the results take about two to three weeks.