The Co-Immunity Project:
A Battle We Can Win—Together
To battle a virus, you have to know where it is, how it spreads, and who’s immune.
And that, in essence, is the goal of Kentucky’s Co-Immunity Project, a joint effort between the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council and the University of Louisville Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute. The project is one of the most aggressive and innovative efforts in the nation, and one Kentucky hopes to use to not only better understand the virus, but to contain it, as well.
The program will have five parts, including:
- Active virus testing to locate, heal and isolate the sick. This will include virus testing vans which can be deployed statewide to places where vulnerable populations congregate, such as nursing homes. This critical service will help identify hot spots early.
- Three-step antibody testing to understand and make use of our immunity. By seeking as many volunteers as possible, we propose a comprehensive testing program that identifies people with antibodies. By tracking the levels and qualities of antibodies in their blood, we can track the levels of overall immunity in the state.
- Establishing a convalescent plasma donor pool. Tested individuals with high levels of antibodies will have the opportunity to save lives by donating plasma to help the sickest patients recover from COVID-19.
- Extensive tracking to see how the virus travels. We will be recruiting and creating a social network of people that will be traced, tracking not just their immunity levels but those they come into contact with. This will help us understand not just the spread of the virus/immunity, but how it behaves over time.
- Diagnosis of wastewater to serve as an early warning system. This would involve deploying virus testing vans to key points in the state, testing the wastewater for high or growing levels of virus in the state’s waste. Sampling key areas will allow us to map changes in the virus levels and identify where the virus is spreading at the earliest possible point.
Yes, this is a large and ambitious program. For it to succeed, it will take the cooperation of government, our educational institutions, the healthcare establishment, and you, the citizens of Kentucky. If you’d like to participate, here’s what you can do:
- Your donations will go towards funding all the initiatives mentioned above. It’s convenient. Just follow this link to give!
- Sign up to have an antibody test. Are you interested in determining whether you have coronavirus antibodies in your blood? We are testing Kentucky frontline healthcare workers who have been exposed to the coronavirus. Sign up here to be put in our testing pool. Tests are being conducted at the University of Louisville, the Baptist Health Network, and Norton Healthcare.
- Join the Co-immunity tracking team. The more people who voluntarily sign up for tracking, the more visibility we will have to the spread of the virus. There are many benefits to being part of the program. First and foremost, you will get early notification if you have been exposed. And you’ll get the latest local health updates as well.
While there is much we have yet to learn about how to best battle Coronavirus, there’s much we can do if we all work together. Join our team effort today!