Oak Hammock resident Mike Plaut has blood drawn

Oak Hammock resident Mike Plaut has blood drawn as part of a COVID-19 study the CDC is conducting. 

More than 155 local seniors are participating in a landmark study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to analyze the effects of COVID-19 on individuals 65 and older. 

This week residents of the senior living community Oak Hammock at the University of Florida are taking part in the latest round of nasal tests and blood draws for the CDC study.

“There is this sense that Oak Hammock is making this contribution to science,” said participating resident Henrietta Nye Logan. “To me, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was so hard to feel like you were making any contribution at all. I think that the residents have felt that, not only were they able to find out about their own health results, but that they were contributing to a greater good.”

The CDC research is called the CITRUS study, an acronym for COVID-19 Illness and Testing among Retirement Communities in the U.S. Oak Hammock reported that a total of 155 of its residents are participating. They comprise one of five components of the research, with similar studies being conducted on children, pregnant women, health care workers and frontline workers.

Although pandemic case numbers are in decline across the United States, a variety of research is ongoing to better understand the coronavirus. The idea behind this study is to look at the effect of COVID-19 on the population from one group to another, the severity of the virus, and the presence of asymptomatic infections.

Nurse Lis Cherr, Oak Hammock’s CITRUS Study charge nurse, said the study is going well for both researchers and residents. 

“Participating in this study helped the residents feel more confident knowing that they were getting tested for COVID-19 every week,” Cherr said. “This has helped contribute to the body of knowledge that led to the CDC’s [recent] report that people didn’t need to keep wearing masks if they were vaccinated. The CDC is very happy with Oak Hammock and how its residents have contributed toward their increased familiarity with COVID-19.”

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