FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – One of the nation’s largest COVID-19 antibody surveys is now underway in Texas.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston is partnering with the Texas Department of State Health Services to launch Texas CARES.

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The goal is to determine the proportion of people throughout Texas who have COVID-19 antibodies.

The survey focuses on several groups: Children 5 to 17 years old; teachers and education professionals; employees within retail, business, or service industries; and patients and staff at community clinics.

“This is just a great place to do this type of effort given that one in every 10 children in the country lives in Texas,” said Dr. Sarah Messiah with UTHealth School of Public Health in Dallas. “It’ll give us a nice snapshot across a diverse state as well to see perhaps what’s going on in the nation as a whole too.”

If you enroll, you’ll have three antibody tests spaced out over six months.

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There are several participating labs across the Metroplex.

State health officials say there is so much they can learn from this process.

“DSHS saw a need to better understand how COVID-19 is affecting people across our state,” said DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD. “We are excited to partner with UTHealth on this effort that will give us an in-depth look at COVID-19 in Texas and help us continue to plan and respond to the pandemic.”

The assessment team plans to enroll around 100,000 participants.

“Texans who participate in this survey will provide valuable information about who has and who has not been infected and how that is changing over time,” said Eric Boerwinkle, PhD, Dean and M. David Low Chair in Public Health at UTHealth School of Public Health. “I’m asked all the time about how a person can help in this fight against COVID-19. Well, participating in this survey is one way all Texans can help.”

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