SHIELD program is a model for effective pandemic management, data shows

SHIELD: Target, Test, Tell program combines routine tests with design and app design to maintain the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus and surroundings when campus operations return in the fall of 2020. Credit: Fred Zwicky

In the fall of 2020, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign welcomes students back to teach in person in the first outbreak of COVID-19. The university has successfully continued its operations throughout the semester – with no COVID-19-related deaths or hospitalizations on campus – thanks to its “SHIELD: Target, Test, Tell” program.

In an in-depth report, the team behind the collaboration across the campus provided detailed information on innovations in design, blood tests and outcome reports that helped reduce the spread of the disease, and shared data collected and lessons learned through. The paper appeared in the newspaper Environmental communication.

“We were able to hold a meeting together and keep up university open safe. We are open, and we have not caused an increase in mortality in our society, so we have shown others that it is possible, “said SHIELD member Dr. Martin D. Burke, a professor of chemistry at Illinois and a member of Carle Illinois. College of Medicine, and Physician. “This is Illinois at its best. This paper hopefully will be a useful tool for other organizations and communities to be cautious when it comes to the next pandemic. “

Compared with COVID-19 results from July 6, 2020 to Dec. 23, 2020 out of every 251 districts in the United States that have a large university, the COVID-19 count in Champaign district, where the university is located, is about one-third. less than expected, the researchers reported in the paper. Similarly, the Champaign district had the largest reduction in mortality — more than four times less than predicted in terms of other counties.

“We don’t know what will happen in Champaign-Urbana if we don’t do it, but when we look at communities with large universities, with a large number of students, we go too far,” he said. pathologist Rebecca L. Smith, professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine and a member of the SHIELD team.

The SHIELD program center is a fast-paced, yet-effective, salvage-based test. Illinois scientists developed the test as an alternative to nasal swabs that were timed. They found that by heating the products, they could kill the virus and bypass its biological output — the most expensive, part-tax and time-consuming PCR test. The test protocol is now licensed for immediate use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and has been deployed to schools, organizations and communities across the country by the University of Illinois System spinoff organizations SHIELD Illinois and Shield T3.

“We pushed the test on someone m scale here, it shows that it is possible, “said Professor Paul Hergenrother, who led the experimental development team.” We process almost 20,000 experiments in a few days. It has now been used almost 15 million times worldwide. “

However, the university must determine who to test and how often. With the initial signs that the virus could be spread through the air and by asymptomatic people, the “Mission” hand of the program pushed a large design that showed testing everyone on campus twice a week as the best way to find out diseases before they become symptoms. Much of the real-time data generated by multiple experiments allows researchers to update their systems and campus leaders to adjust procedures as time progresses.

“Product forecasts change as new features appear, so it is important that we have periodic data to make the right contribution to policy makers. public health and on campus, “said mathematics professor and SHIELD professor Nigel Goldenfeld.” overgrown areas and varieties. transmission is happening and these people are being tested on a regular basis. “

A quick, large test also requires a quick and confident reporting of the test results-part of the “Tell” part of the program. Working with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, campus engineers and designers have developed a smartphone appSafer Illinois, to deliver test results, announces the possibility of exposing and facilitating communication.

The university has also implemented policies that require everyone to provide proof of their illness try position through an app or website to access campus buildings, which encourages acceptance.

“The Safer Illinois Code provides users with unique test results and reminders about the planned test, along with an indication of their test status, all without disclosing any personal health information to designated employees. to the entrance of the university building, “said the building professor and the SHIELD team. member William Sullivan, who led the team that developed the app.

“We tried to reduce the barrier as much as possible,” said professor of veterinary Timothy Fan, who oversaw the laboratory. “And many of them are just practical — removing barriers to supply, easy delivery regular productsgetting the app right at your fingertips — so it really allows us to succeed. “

Another important finding that emerges from the data is that the prevalence of the disease among graduate students is completely unrelated to the disease surrounding Champaign district, indicating that the outbreak at the university was not it is widespread in the community.

“We found that lawsuits among graduate students followed a regular pattern with an academic calendar, rather than the status of districts and states, and did not fit into the surrounding communities. Preliminary data analysis from the next semesters and variants holds this system .The right balance proves to be strong and potentially universal, “said Ahmed Elbanna, a professor of civil engineering and environmental engineering and a member of the SHIELD group.

“That’s why we call it SHIELD — the whole program is designed to provide protection, for our campus and the surrounding community, that we see in our data,” Burke said.

Illinois standard speed test for COVID-19 is now operational under FDA Emergency Use

Learn more:
Diana Rose E. Ranoa et al, Reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission at major public universities, Environmental communication (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-022-30833-3

hintThe SHIELD program is a model for improved disease control, data shows (2022, June 9) was restored 9 June 2022 from

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