Volunteers sought to help determine how widespread COVID-19 is in the community

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Health professionals and community leaders are looking for volunteers to be tested for COVID-19.

Dr. Stu Freed, chief medical director for Confluence Health, said he believes the amount of viral activity in the community is actually low and that random testing could help prove that.

For example, he said very few of the hundreds of people being tested at the hospital before surgical procedures are testing positive for the virus.

The volunteer testing effort will kick off with a series of public service commercials featuring leaders in the valley.

“We’re working through a method of getting random names and addresses … so that we do a scientific sampling, including out to Lake Chelan, Cashmere and Leavenworth,” Freed said.

He said they’re be sending out invitations in the mail in both English and Spanish.

The volunteers will be directed to a local testing facility and results will be kept confidential.

The testing will be free.

“All we need is a bit of their nose, and a slight bit of discomfort at being tested,” Freed said.