SARS-CoV-2 control on a large urban college campus without mass testing

J Am Coll Health. 2023 Jan 3:1-9. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2022.2153600. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: A small percentage of universities and colleges conducted mass SARS-CoV-2 testing. However, universal testing is resource-intensive, strains national testing capacity, and false negative tests can encourage unsafe behaviors.

PARTICIPANTS: A large urban university campus.

METHODS: Virus control centered on three pillars: mitigation, containment, and communication, with testing of symptomatic and a random subset of asymptomatic students.

RESULTS: Random surveillance testing demonstrated a prevalence among asymptomatic students of 0.4% throughout the term. There were two surges in cases that were contained by enhanced mitigation and communication combined with targeted testing. Cumulative cases totaled 445 for the term, most resulting from unsafe undergraduate student behavior and among students living off-campus. A case rate of 232/10,000 undergraduates equaled or surpassed several peer institutions that conducted mass testing.

CONCLUSIONS: An emphasis on behavioral mitigation and communication can control virus transmission on a large urban campus combined with a limited and targeted testing strategy.

PMID:36595575 | DOI:10.1080/07448481.2022.2153600

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