Colleges and universities across the United States in recent weeks have eased on-campus requirements for vaccinated individuals for corona virus testing, leaving public health professionals stunned to learn that strong sources of widespread data will be lost, away from the last few surveillance testing programs.
Cornell University, Stanford UniversityThe University of Southern California And Duke University Are among the major companies that have Already dropped Routine testing requirements for fully vaccinated and motivated community members or scheduled to do so in the next few weeks.
Saskia Bobes, an epidemiologist and associate professor at Arizona’s College of Public Health, said companies that provided a “monetary environment” to understand the spread of shared living areas.
Although most universities that make the change have relatively small populations on campuses with vaccine mandates, non-vaccinated students and staff must be regularly tested. Experts say limiting surveillance testing to that group would make it harder to monitor the spread of the virus and the highly contagious Omicron subtype BA.2.
Cornell, for example, reported that 97 percent of its students were fully vaccinated and 92 percent received a booster dose. The university added pride to its comprehensive monitoring testing program, which includes weekly testing of vaccinated students by detecting the rapid spread of Omigran among students in December.
Two months later, university officials said, “they believe that frequent and routine testing of asymptomatic, vaccinated and motivated individuals is no longer necessary to adequately monitor our community.” The mask order was relaxed on school campus in mid-March.
At the end of the month, Cornell experienced an increase in corona virus cases, which were second only in intensity to its initial Omigron wave in December, resulting in final exams moving online and all university funding events being canceled.
Cases are rising “beyond our expectations,” officials said on March 23.
It is now very difficult to get an accurate number of cases active on campus. The university said most of the positive test results are now being recorded by tests of individuals who already have symptoms, meaning that asymptomatic cases – which can only be detected by a follow-up test – have not been detected. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who have enough corona virus in their body but do not feel any symptoms can still spread the virus to others.
Nevertheless, some public health experts say advances in wastewater monitoring, widespread access to rapid testing and protection provided by vaccines and previous infections may work to transform a university’s strategy into targeted testing – Avoiding drastic change in the virus, as well as the possible appearance of vaccine-avoidant variants Scientists have warned.
Carl Bergstrோம்m, a professor of biology and paid consultant at the University of Washington in Seattle, said: “It may be true that the effective test they did was useful and that they do not need it now. Color is a health technology company that conducts corona virus testing for businesses and universities.
The Universal Monitoring test involves a lot of work and high costs, so colleges struggle with questions about sustainability. The University of Boston has implemented more than two million tests in its own laboratory since August 2020 at significant cost, said Dr. Judy Platt, the school’s chief health officer. The university will Complete the asymptomatic examination Completely after May 23rd.
Whatever the reason, the reduction of the test, especially the relaxation of the mask orders, is felt to have deceived many of the most vulnerable on campus.
Rebecca Harrison, who was a member of Cornell’s early restart team in 2020 and holds a doctorate in immunodeficiency, said her decision was to “slap in the face” her university rhetoric about learning to live with the virus – especially some. The level of “unavoidable virus spread” among those who have been vaccinated, according to the university’s president in January City Hall Meeting.
Other U.S. companies have completed extensive monitoring testing. Businesses that are interested rely on employees returning to offices Home tests And self-report. NFL Suspended all its Govt-19 protocols, Including random screenings, in March. The White House has warned that some virus surveillance should be stopped without much funding from Congress, so the country is not ready for the next variation.
“We justify the decisions that politicians make,” she said. Harrison spoke of elite research universities retreating from surveillance testing. “It hurts everyone.”
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