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St. Luke’s looking to add 100 frontline workers to COVID-19 study

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DULUTH, MN -- St. Luke's hospital is calling for more people to join its federally funded COVID-19 Recover study.

The study began in September with more than 500 healthcare workers and now St. Luke's is looking for 100 frontline workers to take part.

"People who are usually young and healthy still working age and have to leave their homes every day."

Duluth health officials say there is still so much we don't know about COVID-19, and they hope this study will help answer those questions.

"Who gets COVID-19? how many people are a-symptomatic versus symptomatic; how many people were infected way back in the spring versus recently and how well the vaccine protects people against infection?" said Infectious disease specialist Harmony Tyner with St. Luke's.

There are certain criteria participants must check off: 18-years or older, have a smartphone, and follow weekly instructions.

St. Luke’s Internal Medicine Physician Dr. Rachel Gordon was the first one to sign up for the study.

"Right now, COVID is still new," said Dr. Gordon.

Dr. Gordon has to swab her nose weekly and drop it off at a St. Luke's site.

"We do the front of the nose swab so they're just getting into right up here in the front so not painful at all to do."

Health officials are also asking participants, if they can, to not be vaccinated yet as many of the healthcare workers already in the study have been vaccinated so they need comparisons.

So far, the study has been able to uncover several findings.

"Not everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 has symptoms at all ever at any point," Tyner said.

Tyner adds health officials also found people who tested positive for COVID-19 before they were showing any symptoms.

Tyner said even though this information is already known, it justifies and shows people who are going out, that they could still be spreading covid-19 without knowing it.

The study will finish up in May.

If you would like to participant in the study, email: RecoverStudy@slhduluth.com

Lyanne Valdez

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