Online Program

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All Times EDT

Thursday, October 7
Thu, Oct 7, 1:15 PM - 2:30 PM
Speed Session

Identifying and Developing Effective COVID-19 Testing Strategies for Smaller Residential Colleges (310001)

Kate Abrams, Cornell College 
Sofia Lopera Cardona, Cornell College 
Skye McCormick, Cornell College 
Ravi Parekh, Cornell College 
*Brandi Shanata, Cornell College 
Jai A. P. Shanata, Cornell College 

Keywords: COVID testing, sampling strategy, reproduction rate

We will summarize the development of a SARS-CoV-2 testing strategy on a college campus of ~1000 students in rural Iowa. We researched the viability of on-campus PCR testing, outsourcing, and antigen tests available as of June 2020, considering factors such as the timeline for results, likely compliance, and false positive/negative rates. We selected an antigen test which provides results in 15 minutes, with the goal of reducing R zero below 1. A surveillance sampling strategy was developed to (1) identify infected individuals early and (2) reduce spread through isolation of infected individuals. A stratified sampling strategy using high and low contact designation, cluster sampling by residence hall floor, and random sampling of faculty and staff was implemented. Each of the three stages is designed to target a different avenue of spread and provide early warning of positive cases on campus. Over 9,400 individual SARS-CoV-2 tests were administered between August 2020 and April 2021. As of April 2021, mitigation measures combined with an evolving sampling strategy allowed for significant in-person learning with a cumulative positivity rate of 1.4% for students, faculty, and staff.