Why does Santa Ana have highest concentration of new COVID cases in OC? Researchers conduct antibody tests to find out

Jessica De Nova Image
Saturday, December 12, 2020
Why does Santa Ana have highest concentration of new COVID cases in OC?
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Why does Santa Ana have the highest concentration of new COVID-19 cases in Orange County? Here's what researchers are doing to find answers.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- The city of Santa Ana is seeing the highest test positivity rates in Orange County throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tuesday, four of the city's zip codes were sitting at more than 20%. That's more than double the rest of O.C. as a whole.

Researchers with UC Irvine are conducting a survey that includes free antibody tests to find answers behind why the numbers are so high here.

"As a Latina, we have such a high rate," said Loretta Marie Canett-Bailes, who participated in the survey.

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Canett-Bailes and other locals hope the results of the survey can help their community.

"Disparities in access to services and the information also because a lot of people are still working and it might not be the safest conditions," said another participant.

UCI's Dr. Daniel Parker has the same hypothesis. His goal is to dig a little further to get an idea on the household dynamics in this community.

"Is it clustering within households here as well? Or are there other important demographic or social factors that are important that are driving this?" Parker said.

With CARES Act funding and efforts to spread the word in this multi-lingual community about the survey, 8,000 tests are expected to be collected.

"What is the data going to reflect? What stories is it going to tell us, so we can share that with the community to protect itself. We have to do something," Canett-Bailes said.

According to Dr. Parker, UCI's serological test tells people they have not had SARS-CoV-2, with nearly 100% accuracy and that they've had it with 94% accuracy.

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