Sunday, April 12, 2020

Sentinel surveillance for COVID-19: nasal swabs of teachers, service workers, gym coaches and healthcare workers

Sentinel surveillance in pandemic control is typically based on identifying health care delivery sites that get intensive monitoring.

I have been wondering about how we'd do surveillance when we move away from our current stay-at-home condition. Assuming we use self-administered nasal swabs rather than obnoxious nasopharyngeal swaps we could distribute volumes of mail-in test kits (goal of 24h turnaround) to school teachers, healthcare workers, gym coaches, bartenders, and so on. Volunteers would swab weekly, mail in kit with their bar code on them.

We'd need a few million kits per week to do this.

Happily, this is discussed in the April 7 paper by McClellan, Gottlie, et al. I'd heard of the paper, I just needed to read it.

So I don't need to worry ... it's taken care of.

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