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Voluntary survey on Covid coming to Esko, Mahtowa


September 18, 2020

The Minnesota Department of Health has selected areas near Esko and Mahtowa for participation in a voluntary, in-person survey to understand the effect Covid-19 is having on Minnesota communities.

There are a number of benefits to participating in the survey, although health officials stressed that participation is not required.

Why participate?

• Free Covid-19 tests. Participants and people living with them get free Covid-19 tests and learn if they had, or currently have, Covid-19;

• The information can lead to better understanding of how Covid-19 is spreading across Minnesota;

• Help stop the spread of Covid-19. By answering a few questions, people can help the health department understand how to improve safety messaging.

• Make concerns heard. Participants can talk to the public health worker about how Covid-19 has affected them and their family, as well as any concerns they have about the disease.

The survey is called a modified Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response, or CASPER, survey. No one is required to participate in the survey. Participation is voluntary, and people can stop at any point during the survey. Households included in the survey were chosen at random to make sure the survey represents the general population of Minnesota.

Information obtained from the survey will help public health workers and others who are part of the Covid-19 response make decisions that best meet the needs of each community affected by Covid-19. All health information collected during the survey will remain confidential. Positive test results will be shared with the health department case investigation team.

What to expect

MDH CASPER teams plan to survey six regions across the state. Team members are public health workers. They will wear vests with name tags identifying them as members of an MDH CASPER team. Their vehicles will have magnets on the side that say “Covid-19 Survey Team.” Over the month of September, survey teams will visit neighborhoods and ring doorbells of houses and ask residents to participate in a survey. Households will not be notified in advance.

Each team has a health care professional hired by MDH and trained to administer two different Covid-19 tests:

-A nasal swab test, where a nurse puts a swab into your nose for a few seconds and rotates it a little. This is done on both sides of the nose. This test is to see if you have Covid-19 now;

• A serology test (blood test), where a nurse pricks your finger to take a few drops of blood. This test is done to see if you already had Covid-19.

Team members will ask each household to complete one survey, and will ask each person in the household for permission to do a blood and nasal swab test. Anyone may refuse one or both of the tests.

The MDH lab will analyze the Covid-19 tests. A health care professional will send results to you in a text message if your tests are negative. If either of your test results is positive, a health care professional will call you with your results.

Why it is important


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