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 accordance with a case examine 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 have 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 take a look at.
As soon as lessons began, the college carried out common surveillance testing utilizing pooled samples to preserve assets, every day symptom self-monitoring, contact tracing with quarantine, and common testing for individuals who have been symptomatic or had been uncovered to somebody with COVID-19.
The outcome: The typical per-capita an infection prevalence amongst college students was decrease than within the surrounding group, and huge outbreaks seen on different campuses have been averted. General, mixed testing approaches recognized 84 instances amongst college students, with 51% occurring amongst asymptomatic folks.
“Our expertise at Duke exhibits that mixed danger discount methods and surveillance testing can considerably decrease transmissions on school campuses and past,” stated lead writer Thomas Denny, professor of medication at Duke College College of Drugs and chief working workplace on the Duke Human Vaccine Institute.
Denny stated 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 every day symptom self-monitoring and reporting;
- Having college students dwelling on campus conduct twice-weekly assessments themselves, utilizing kits with prelabeled tubs, swabs and specimen luggage; off-campus college students examined no less than as soon as per week;
- Strategically finding websites throughout campus to gather testing samples from college students;
- Batching samples in a course of known as pooled testing, with 5 samples grouped and analyzed for the presence of the virus. Batches that registered positives have 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 season there have been nonetheless issues we did not absolutely perceive about SARS-CoV-2 transmission, so there was some uncertainty going into the autumn semester,” stated 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 a whole bunch of devoted people, together with the excessive stage of engagement by our college students, we have now had a really constructive fall,” stated 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, examine 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.