Implementation of a pooled surveillance testing program for asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections on a college campus — Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, August 2–October 11, 2020

Thomas N. Denny, Laura Andrews, Mattia Bonsignori, Kyle Cavanaugh, Michael B. Datto, Anastasia Deckard, C. Todd DeMarco, Nicole DeNaeyer, Carol A. Epling, Thaddeus Gurley, Steven B. Haase, Chloe Hallberg, John Harer, Charles L. Kneifel, Mark J. Lee, Raul Louzao, M. Anthony Moody, Zack Moore, Christopher R. Polage, Jamie PuglinP. Hunter Spotts, John A. Vaughn, Cameron R. Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Summary What is already known about this topic? SARS-CoV-2 can rapidly spread through university settings. Pooling specimens can enable large-scale testing while minimizing needed resources. What is added by this report? In fall 2020, Duke University’s COVID-19 prevention strategy included risk reduction behaviors, frequent testing using pooled SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction testing, and contact tracing. Among 10,265 students who received testing 68,913 times, 84 had positive results. One half of infections were asymptomatic, and some had high viral loads. What are the implications for public health practice? SARS-CoV-2 transmission was limited in this congregate setting by integration of prevention strategies that included identification of asymptomatic infections through frequent testing. Pooled testing reduced the need for resources while allowing high throughput with high sensitivity and rapid turnaround of results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1743-1747
Number of pages5
JournalMorbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Volume69
Issue number46
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 20 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Health Information Management

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