The Indiana Department of Health is looking for a few good nostrils to help them better understand how the coronavirus is spreading across the state, and they may be calling on yours to help.

In a press release issued last Thursday (April 23rd, 2020), the Department announced a partnership with Indiana University's Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI to conduct the study which will happen over the course of three phases. The first of which began this past Saturday and is continuing until tomorrow. Ahead of each phase, the Department will randomly select a predetermined number of residents from across the state asking them to participate, and will be doing so by "mail, text message, email or phone." If you're anything like me, any time you get a text or call from a number not in your contacts list, you don't answer it unless you know you've given someone new your number and are expecting one of the two from them. The same goes for mail. With online bill paying being so popular, most of what I get in the mail is clearly junk and goes directly into the recycle bin. But every once in a while a clever company will get me by disguising their ad to make it look like something important, which is one of the many reasons I have trust issues. My point is, if you get something in the mail that even remotely looks like it's from the Indiana Department of Health, don't throw it away.

Of course participation in the study is voluntary. While it doesn't sound like a pleasant experience, a few seconds of discomfort on your part could go a long way in protecting other Hoosiers from the virus, and help state officials determine how quickly we can get our lives back to something that at least resembles what we had pre-COVID-19.

If you are contacted in one of the ways mentioned, you'll receive instructions on when and where to go to get your test done. You'll also be given "a unique code" you'll need to show when you arrive so those conducting the test know you're part of the study.

After this initial round of testing is done, the IDH says they'll conduct three more in "late May, in October 2020 and in April 2021." You can read the entire press release on the Department of Health's website.

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