25 "catches". We have had extremely encouraging experiences with a large pilot of rapid point-of-care testing for COVID-19 in UBC Housing… 1/ https://twitter.com/UBCNursing/status/1362453082320367617?s=20
The pilot ran at a major UBC Housing (student residence) site, Feb-Apr, offering voluntary testing to students in residence (target pop ~1000) at a recommended frequency of 2-3x/week. /
The program identified 25 active cases of COVID-19 living in student housing (confirmed PCR-positive). These students were asymptomatic at the time of testing, and likely very infectious (based on the characteristics of the testing platform). /
Contact tracing of these cases by VCH public health identified several different clusters of transmission, with numerous cases and contacts directed and supported to self-isolate. (There is isolation support for students in UBC Housing – very important!) /
From what we know of COVID-19, substantial ongoing transmission was quite likely averted due to this program and the great engagement of students. (Illustration from our friends up the road @FraserHealth.) /
Bonus finding: Once the logistics and acceptability to students were confirmed, the program explored self-collection of swabs. Self-collection can of course lessen staffing needs for rapid testing programs, and anecdotally (unsurprisingly) this is preferred by many. It worked. /
The more you learn, the more you ask: Interestingly, while a majority of testing participants were women, most positive tests were in men. There is more to learn on both COVID-19 risk and promotion of testing/preventive practices in campus settings. /
The team will share findings formally; a report will be submitted for peer review. Meanwhile, time and COVID move quickly; this may be of timely interest to unis/colleges and other settings. Winter (session) is coming, and BC campuses plan for full in-person operations in Sept. /
Planning for full operations doesn’t mean completely “normal” operations, though. Careful measures to limit high-risk crowding will be important, as will support for students/staff/faculty to test and isolate when needed. /
While we keenly anticipate increased levels of vaccine coverage, this protection will not be perfect at the individual or community level. Complementary measures will still be needed. / https://twitter.com/TallPupper/status/1384297929813282827?s=20 @carolinecolijn @tallpupper
Repeat rapid testing can have a role in high-risk settings where there is support to apply the results and isolate. In VCH, this has included applications in the Downtown Eastside and some long-term care homes. https://twitter.com/VicLeungIDdoc/status/1344805432313872386?s=20
As a quick reminder: BC organizations can discuss rapid testing options with @CDCofBC: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/testing/rapid-covid-19-point-of-care-screening-program /
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