MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez announced today the launch of a survey to screen a random, representative sample of the county’s population and determine the area’s estimated rate of infection. This first-in-the-nation survey will be conducted by the University of Miami School of Medicine using DMGtests, a screening tool that reveals whether or not the body has been exposed to COVID-19 in just 15 minutes.
“The name of this study is SPARK-C: Surveillance Program Assessing Risk and Knowledge of Coronavirus. No community of our size in the United States has taken on such as study. I’m really proud of this public, private and academic partnership,” said Mayor Gimenez today during his daily video announcement. “I also want to thank Disaster Management Group, a South Florida company, for providing this quick and easy blood test that will be taken by a finger prick.”
DMGtest is a health care product offered by South Florida-based Disaster Management Group (DMG) to state and local governments, as well as commercial organizations around the world. The rapid blood test, with results available in just 15 minutes, is a screening tool for COVID-19 that was that was delivered to Miami-Dade in partnership with BioMedomics. More than 2 million tests have been administered around the world since the outbreak in Wuhan.
“Expanding the use of rapid blood tests is the first step to getting our nation back to work,” said Tom Rubio, CEO of DMG. “Miami-Dade Mayor Gimenez is showing great leadership by making such a significant investment to survey the population and truly determine how many are infected, where the hot spots are located and who is safe to get back to work.”
Miami-Dade County this week received more than 20,000 DMGtests to begin the program. 750 residents will be tested each week for several weeks as part of the survey.
Across the country and around the globe, reports confirm that testing a high volume of individuals is the best way to prevent further spread of COVID-19 among communities. Data on who has been exposed and who may have developed immunity to the virus can help determine when restrictive measures currently in place are no longer necessary.
“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 Kobetz, 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. It will also help us understand how some of the initiatives that were put in place are affecting our curve of infection. … Through this work we will be able to better understand who is infected, and more importantly, what we can collectively do about it.”
The DMGtest involves collecting a blood sample from a finger prick. The DMGtest detects exposure to COVID-19 whether a patient is experiencing symptoms or not, within four days of the antibody production in a patient’s blood. Because the test relies on the level of antibody production in each individual’s blood, there is an 89 percent to 91 percent accuracy rate. Additionally, the DMGtest screenings are the only ones on the market that are currently being lab tested for validity against live COVID-19 infected blood.
Currently, Florida and most of the rest of the United States use PCR tests to evaluate candidates for the presence of COVID-19. PCR tests involve taking a swab from the candidate’s nose and throat to check for the DNA of the virus. When PCR tests are collected in the field, such as a drive-through test facility, they must be transported to a specialized laboratory, where they can be processed by specialized medical technologists. With these requirements and due to the limited capacity, it may take up to seven days before a candidate receives results from a PCR test.
To watch the Mayor’s announcement, visit https://www.pscp.tv/w/1ZkKzLyLZBLJv.
Disaster Management Group (DMG), LLC, based in Indiantown, FL, has more than 15 years of experience in rapid deployment of disaster management services. A trusted partner to government agencies, industry and disaster response organizations, DMG capabilities and offerings include logistical support services and equipment, medical testing, technology and industrial cleaning. DMG is the largest provider to services at CDC and U.S. Department of Defense for sites being established during the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more at www.basecampservices.com.