COVID-19 transmission in a university setting: a rapid review of modelling studies
Ross. D. Booton,
Emily J Nixon,
Ellen Brooks Pollock
Posted 09 Sep 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.09.07.20189688
Posted 09 Sep 2020
Managing COVID-19 within a university setting presents unique challenges. At the start of term, students arrive from geographically diverse locations and potentially have higher numbers of social contacts than the general population, particularly if living in university halls of residence accommodation. Mathematical models are useful tools for understanding the potential spread of infection and are being actively used to inform policy about the management of COVID-19. Our aim was to provide a rapid review and appraisal of the literature on mathematical models investigating COVID-19 infection in a university setting. We searched PubMed, Web of Science, bioRxiv/ medRxiv and sought expert input via social media to identify relevant papers. BioRxiv/ medRxiv and PubMed/Web of Science searches took place on 3 and 6 July 2020, respectively. Papers were restricted to English language. Screening of peer-reviewed and pre-print papers and contact with experts yielded five relevant papers - all of which were pre-prints. All models suggest a significant potential for transmission of COVID-19 in universities. Testing of symptomatic persons and screening of the university community regardless of symptoms, combined with isolation of infected individuals and effective contact tracing were critical for infection control in the absence of other mitigation interventions. When other mitigation interventions were considered (such as moving teaching online, social/physical distancing, and the use of face coverings) the additional value of screening for infection control was limited. Multiple interventions will be needed to control infection spread within the university setting and the interaction with the wider community is an important consideration. Isolation of identified cases and quarantine of contacts is likely to lead to large numbers of students requiring educational, psychological and behavioural support and will likely have a large impact on the attendance of students (and staff), necessitating online options for teaching, even where in-person classes are taking place. Models were highly sensitive to assumptions in the parameters, including the number and type of individuals contacts, number of contacts traced, frequency of screening and delays in testing. Future models could aid policy decisions by considering the incremental benefit of multiple interventions and using empirical data on mixing within the university community and with the wider community where available. Universities will need to be able to adapt quickly to the evolving situation locally to support the health and wellbeing of the university and wider communities.
- Downloaded 1,017 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 25,750
- In health policy: 76
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 22,910
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 26,567
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!