St. Mark’s faculty and staff volunteered to be part of a study to better understand the spread of COVID-19 in Dallas-Ft. Worth. Organized by UT Southwestern and Texas Health Resources, the DFW COVID-19 Prevalence Study has a focus on front-line workers, including those in the education sector.
”We have been testing for COVID-19 since August, and this was a natural progression for us to participate so we can help scientists better understand SARS Cov 2,” said St. Mark’s School Nurse Julie Doerge, referring to the virus that led to the pandemic.
A major challenge to stopping the spread of COVID-19 is a lack of information. Researchers are trying to understand where the virus is spreading and why certain people are infected more easily than others. This information guides public policy decisions regarding testing, reopening schools and businesses, building infrastructure, and distributing resources for potential outbreaks in the future. Ultimately, the results will be used to develop ways to reduce COVID-19 infections and deaths.
With more than 190 St. Mark’s faculty and staff volunteering, the Prevalence Study had to add additional testing appointments. Volunteers filled out a brief survey, received a nose swab to test for active COVID-19 infection, and a COVID-19 antibody blood test to check for prior exposure to the virus.
“I want to do my part to support UTSW research,” said study volunteer and St. Mark’s Director of Security Dale Hackbarth. “This community always comes together in a time of need. St Mark’s Strong is said for a reason.”
The Prevalence Study will involve testing 30,000 households and 14,000 essential, non-medical occupations in Dallas and Tarrant counties.
St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.
St. Mark’s does not discriminate in the administration of its admission and education policies on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.