Wake Forest Baptist Health is spearheading an effort to test 1,000 state residents to see if they've had COVID-19. 

The tests are designed to look for coronavirus antibodies in a random sampling of patients. The goal is to get a clearer idea of how widespread the virus is and was in North Carolina.

Dr. John Sanders, a co-leader behind the year-long study, says the results “will help fill a data gap that has existed since the start of the pandemic.”

Sanders told the News & Observer that the Food and Drug Administration has approved coronavirus antibody tests for research, but not for clinical use.

The survey has the backing of North Carolina's GOP-led legislature, which is providing $100,000 to Wake Forest University to begin random sampling.

State Senator Phil Berger released a statement saying the study “will help us learn if the true situation is better or worse than the models project.”

Volunteers can self-administer the tests at home, eliminating the need to interact with health care providers or use personal protective equipment, which is in short supply.

The tests are being produced by Los Angeles-based Scanwell Health, which began sending them out this week.

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here. WFDD wants to hear your stories — connect with us and let us know what you're experiencing.

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