An aggressive COVID-19 surveillance and testing effort at Duke College was extremely efficient in minimizing the unfold of the illness amongst college students on campus, in keeping with a case research showing within the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The profitable Duke marketing campaign was launched earlier than the beginning of the semester. Forward of arriving on campus, all enrolled college students had been required to self-quarantine for 14 days, signal a code of conduct pledge to obey mask-wearing and social distancing pointers and have a COVID check.
As soon as lessons began, the college performed common surveillance testing utilizing pooled samples to preserve sources, day by day symptom self-monitoring, contact tracing with quarantine, and common testing for individuals who had been symptomatic or had been uncovered to somebody with COVID-19.
The end result: The common per-capita an infection prevalence amongst college students was decrease than within the surrounding group, and enormous outbreaks seen on different campuses had been averted. Total, mixed testing approaches recognized 84 circumstances amongst college students, with 51% occurring amongst asymptomatic individuals.
“Our expertise at Duke exhibits that mixed danger discount methods and surveillance testing can considerably decrease transmissions on school campuses and past,” mentioned lead writer Thomas Denny, professor of drugs at Duke College Faculty of Drugs and chief working workplace on the Duke Human Vaccine Institute.
Denny mentioned the Duke expertise relied on a mix of methods. Along with the testing and quarantining earlier than college students arrived on campus, the measures included:
- Making a smartphone app for day by day symptom self-monitoring and reporting;
- Having college students residing on campus conduct twice-weekly checks themselves, utilizing kits with prelabeled tubs, swabs and specimen baggage; off-campus college students examined not less than as soon as every week;
- Strategically finding websites throughout campus to gather testing samples from college students;
- Batching samples in a course of referred to as pooled testing, with 5 samples grouped and analyzed for the presence of the virus. Batches that registered positives had been then damaged into particular person samples and examined individually to determine the supply of the constructive. The Duke Human Vaccine Institute processed 80,000 samples from August-October.
“By late summer time there have been nonetheless issues we did not totally perceive about SARS-CoV-2 transmission, so there was some uncertainty going into the autumn semester,” mentioned Steve Haase, affiliate professor in Duke’s departments of Biology and Drugs. “Over the course of the semester we have discovered many issues, together with that it’s doable to restrict the unfold of the virus and create a safer atmosphere for our college students to have that invaluable on-campus studying expertise.”
“Due to the collaboration of actually lots of of devoted people, together with the excessive stage of engagement by our college students, now we have had a really constructive fall,” mentioned co-author Kyle Cavanaugh, vice chairman of Administration at Duke College. “Our dynamic surveillance testing technique has served as a key part of our expertise that has additionally included very excessive compliance with masking, social distancing and different key public well being behaviors.”
Along with Denny, Haase and Cavanaugh, research authors embody Laura Andrews, Mattia Bonsignori, Michael B. Datto, Anastasia Deckard, C. Todd Demarco, Nicole DeNaeyer, Carol A. Epling, Thaddeus Gurley, Chloe Hallberg, John Harer, PhD, Charles L. Kneifel, Mark J. Lee, Raul Louzao, M. Anthony Moody; Zack Moore, Christopher R. Polage, Jamie Puglin, P. Hunter Spotts, John A. Vaughn and Cameron R. Wolfe.