New COVID testing measures announced

November 20, 2020
By Olivia Cameron

STAFF REPORT- New information regarding the collection of Gasparilla Island COVID-19 data has been issued by the Boca Grande Health Clinic, and the Boca Grande 411 Island Community Coalition, to better facilitate our knowledge in how to combat this new and unique threat.
The 411 Island Community Coalition was established to support the Boca Grande community through education, awareness and cooperation. This is being done through programs like the Boca Grande Pledge. 
Another of these initiatives, to test local wastewater, began over the summer. Studies have suggested that due to excretion of Coronavirus prior to developing symptoms of the actual illness, higher levels of COVID-19 RNA detected in wastewater may precede increases in community cases by four to seven days. Having a jump on that allows better preparedness and focus of testing and resources. 
Random wastewater samples are collected each Sunday and sent to a laboratory to verify the level of COVID-19 RNA. This is a practice that has become common throughout places in the United States, in an attempt to gather data that may prevent outbreaks.
The Clinic is working in tandem with the Gasparilla Island Water Association on this project.
Please visit the website (currently in development) at for more information about the mission, and for helpful links to keep our community safe, like these graphs on local wastewater testing and local COVID testing data.