I have completed 11 surveillance testings since August 20th. In other words, I am invited Covid-19 testing 11 times in 4 months or I am tested almost every 10 days 🙂
I believe that Duke is doing a good job in surveillance testing. Thanks to this excellent effort, we as students completed the first semester safe and healthy.
What is Duke’s surveillance testing?
Duke is conducting regular surveillance testing of students and other campus community members who do not have any symptoms to assist in the early detection and response for potential COVID-19 cases on campus.
So, if you are affiliated with Duke, then you may have a notification email or text message on one morning that warns you about upcoming surveillance testing. After you receive the notification, you can visit one of the test center in the campus and complete the surveillance testing. And then, Duke Human Vaccine Institute conduct the pooled test with your samples.
What is the pooled test?
It is a kind of testing strategy that pools the samples and test them together. In traditional lab testing, labs analyze each individual’s testing samples. Thus, labs may need more test samples and more time to conduct analyzing each samples. In contrast, in pooled lab testing, labs may analyzed more than one samples together. Because labs use test samples together, pooled testing provides more efficiency.
For example, labs may analyze 4 people’s test samples together. If the test result is negative, then we can say that all four people have negative test results. If the test result is positive, then at least one of the four people has positive test result. Therefore, labs invite these four people to retesting individually as soon as possible to determine which of these people are positive. According to the Duke team, this system is a useful strategy to continuously monitor to large populations and conduct more tests.
How does the regular surveillance testing work?
It is an easy and quick process. The self-administered process may take about 2-3 minutes.
After you receive an email with details to conduct a surveillance test on specific day, you need to visit one of community screening collection sites on the campus. And then, you can test yourself. Here are some photos to illustrate test center and test materials: