Nobles County Serology Study - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Nobles County Serology Study

Stay Safe MN

The Minnesota Department of Health and local officials in the Worthington area are partnering on a study seeking better understanding of how COVID-19 spreads through a community. Area residents will have the opportunity to receive a serology test that will show whether they, at some point, were infected with COVID-19. Worthington was the site of a large workplace outbreak and a large number of COVID-19 cases have been reported from Nobles County.

  • Open to everyone age 7 or older who lives or works in Nobles County
  • Free, no insurance needed
  • You do not need to have symptoms of COVID-19


Saturday, October 10
11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Sunday, October 11
10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Nobles County Fairgrounds
601 Stower Drive
Worthington, MN 56187

About the study

When a person contracts COVID-19, their immune systems develops antibodies to help fight off the virus. Antibodies are found in a person’s blood whether they exhibit symptoms or not, providing a more complete picture of how far spread has reached in the community. Survey data collected as part of this study will help identify previous infection in populations at higher risk for infection, to better target testing and prevention programs.

Some who contract COVID-19 may experience either mild or no symptoms and may not even realize they are infected. But all who contract the virus are contagious and could transmit the virus to others who are vulnerable to serious complications and death. A relatively large number of COVID-19 cases have been reported from Nobles County, which makes it an area that can help further develop the scientific understanding of COVID-19 and its spread.

This study will help us learn more about what people think and feel will help to improve outreach and safety messaging. MDH has collaborated with local community organizations to plan this study, given the heavy impact of this epidemic on people of color.

What to expect

  • The serology test involves a finger stick to collect a few drops of blood into a small tube. MDH will test the sample for antibodies to COVID-19. No other tests will be done on this blood sample.
  • Participants will also be asked to fill out a short survey. If you do not speak English or Spanish, a translator can explain the questions to you.
  • The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete, and the entire study should take about an hour of your time.

About your results

My COVID-19 antibody blood test is negative: What does this mean?

This means nothing is in your blood that shows you have been infected at any time with COVID-19. This may be because you have never been exposed to or infected with COVID-19, or your infection is too new for antibodies to show up yet in your blood.

My COVID-19 antibody blood test is positive: What does this mean?

This means your blood shows that at some time you were infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. However, it is important to note that at this time, we do not know if having antibodies means you are protected against getting COVID-19 again in the future. We hope to learn more about this in the future. A positive antibody result will not affect local case counts.

If I have antibodies, can I still infect others?

If you have antibodies but are not actively infected, you cannot infect others. If you have antibodies, you may be less likely to be infected in the future and therefore less likely to infect others in the future, but we do not yet know the extent to which this is true.

Does a positive result on the antibody test mean the person is immune?

Tests in laboratories show some antibodies have stopped infection, but we do not know yet if these antibodies can do the same thing to for real infections.


Updated Tuesday, 13-Oct-2020 15:33:53 CDT