Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner has signed off on a new study that will see city employees visit randomly selected homes in Houston to collect blood samples for COVID-19 antibody testing.
The study is being conducted by the Houston Health Department in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Household members will be asked to answer a survey and give a blood sample. For some households, all members of the household will be asked to participate.
Authorities say the tests are necessary to develop a deeper insight into how COVID-19 spreads through the community and how many people were previously infected with the virus.
The Mayor said the program would be voluntary, but urged citizens to take part.
“If we knock on your door, I strongly encourage you and your loved ones to participate in this important survey,” said Turner.
“The data you provide by participating will help inform strategies to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.”
In some other countries, such as New Zealand, people who refuse to take a COVID-19 test have been forcibly removed to quarantine facilities by health authorities.
In a previous interview, Turner had suggested that people who refused to take a coronavirus test were “irresponsible.”
Last month Turner also announced that police will begin issuing citations against people not wearing masks, hitting them with a fine of $250 dollars.