COVID-19 Resilience Project

The Building Construction Trade Welfare Foundation (BCTWF) is a 501(c)(3) charity formed to support scientific, educational, and charitable causes, and to enhance the welfare of participants in the Building and Construction Trades. Our first project is the COVID-19 Resilience Project in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic. This is a multistate COVID-19 antibody testing project powered by the support of unionized construction trade workers and their families to test eligible participants in certain multiemployer welfare plans. The goal is to test thousands of individuals of all ages, vaccinated and not vaccinated, in this unique multigenerational project.

Why?

As the scientific community and the world at large works to understand the impact and long-term effects of COVID-19, gaining greater insight around antibodies is critical. Through the COVID-19 Resilience Project, we intend to gain information as to how many individuals have protective antibodies and how long those antibodies last and, thus, the presumed protection against the virus today and into the future.  Unlike other studies, the Resilience Project is testing a unique multigenerational group over a large geographic area, which means it is largely representative of the general population.

We are seeking to provide COVID-19 Resilience Project participants the greatest amount of information possible to make determinations about their own health and safety in the current environment.

Who is eligible to participate in the study?

Building and construction trade eligible participants in multiemployer funds that have chosen to participate in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Indiana. In the future, participation may be rolled out to participants in other states.

How It Works

To become a participant, eligible participants will register for the program via a link provided by their sponsoring organization and be asked to provide basic information about themselves and eligible dependents.

Eligible participants will then receive an email from the Oracle COVID-19 Patient Monitoring System (Oracle) to register on the Oracle website and after will receive an email from Oracle confirming personal information.

Eligible participants will also be asked to participate in a brief Oracle daily survey to help determine if you are developing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, have been in close proximity to those who may have COVID-19, or have additional relevant test results. This daily survey is optional, but participants are strongly encouraged to participate – again, the more information provided to the investigators the better!

As for testing, depending upon location and availability, participants will be able to choose from two tests: either finger prick test designed to determine whether an individual has antibodies in response to a natural infection (in other words, an infection from the COVID-19 virus) or a venipuncture test designed to determine whether an individual has antibodies in response to a natural infection OR in response to a vaccine.  Results will be available approximately 7-10 days after testing.

If the initial test is negative, participants will not have another test, but will be asked to continue to report COVID symptoms in response to the daily Oracle email.

If the  initial test is positive, the current intention is for positive participants to continue testing at certain intervals over the course of  the first 12 months of the project to help determine if their antibody levels remain stable (i.e., if they continue to maintain presumed protection from the virus).

NOTE: The follow up tests are key to the study, so eligible participants are asked to commit to these follow up tests if asked to do so.

Protecting Your Privacy

The investigators at Mayo Clinic will use de-identified information for all of the participants of the COVID-19 Resilience Project. De-identified means your privacy is protected. As part of a national effort to combat this virus, de-identified information in the Oracle Patient Monitoring System, including the de-identified information gathered as part of this COVID-19 Resilience Project, will be shared with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to accomplish essential public health goals. Per HHS, entry of patient information into this Oracle system is fully compliant with HIPAA.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tremendous progress has been made with respect to the development of vaccines and distribution. Note, however:

  • To date, no vaccine has yet been definitively shown to either prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 or to prevent transmission of the virus. Furthermore, information is still developing about how long any of the new vaccines continue to be effective after the initial immunization.
  • On average 60 percent of adults in the United States are fully vaccinated, however in some states, this number is below 40 percent; thus, achieving herd immunity may not ultimately be achieved.
  • Thus, a study focusing on the presence and persistence of antibodies in the general population, i.e., if the antibodies last and grow stronger, is of vital importance.
  • On an individual level, eligible participants will receive important health information as to whether they may have potentially protective antibodies.

Tremendous progress has been made with respect to the development of vaccines and distribution. Note, however:

  • To date, no vaccine has yet been definitively shown to either prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 or to prevent transmission of the virus. Furthermore, information is still developing about how long any of the new vaccines continue to be effective after initial immunization.
  • Approximately 40 percent of eligible Americans have not received the vaccine; thus, achieving herd immunity may not ultimately be achieved.
  • Thus, a study focusing on the presence and persistence of antibodies in the general population, i.e., if the antibodies last and grow stronger, is of vital importance.
  • On an individual level, eligible participants will receive important health information as to whether they may have potentially protective antibodies.

Yes, both vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals are encouraged to participate.

All individual data that will be used for analyses will be kept strictly confidential. Oracle has developed a collaborative relationship with the CDC to help monitor COVID-19 symptoms around the country. Symptom data will be shared with groups such as the CDC and HHS, but only in de-identified form – which is to say, without any personal information. No test results will be made available to any outside agency, and the investigators will only develop analyses that have been “scrubbed” of individually identifiable data.

Eligible participants will receive an email from Oracle when the results are available, approximately 7-10 days after testing.

All participants are encouraged to interact with the program through the Oracle daily emails, but, if a participant chooses to opt out of the daily updates, they will still be notified of their test results.

Whether COVID protective antibodies persist, and specifically how long they linger in the body, is not yet thoroughly understood. In order for us as individuals and a society to prepare adequate protections for this disease, it is essential that we know how long such antibodies persists, and whether their persistence is dependent on factors such as age or medical history. Repeat testing is essential to obtain this information.

To date, vaccinations have proven to be highly effective.  Please discuss with your physician.  Also, masks, social distancing, hand washing, contact tracing, and isolation of positives remain important tools to reduce the risk of disease transmission.

This is a summary of information provided for informational purposes. It is not intended to be specific medical advice.

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