Description of a University COVID-19 Outbreak and Interventions to Disrupt Transmission, Wisconsin, August - October 2020.
Dustin W. Currie,
Gage Kahl Moreno,
Miranda J Delahoy,
Ian W Pray,
Katarina M Braun,
Geroncio C Fajardo,
Carol A Griggs,
Brian S Yandell,
Hannah E. Segaloff,
G. Patrick Kelly,
Collin J Pitts,
Katarina M Grande,
Allen C Bateman,
Ryan P Westergaard,
Jacqueline E. Tate,
Thomas C Friedrich,
Hannah L. Kirking,
David H O'Connor,
Marie E. Killerby
Posted 10 May 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.05.07.21256834
Posted 10 May 2021
University settings have demonstrated potential for COVID-19 outbreaks, as they can combine congregate living, substantial social activity, and a young population predisposed to mild illness. Using genomic and epidemiologic data, we describe a COVID-19 outbreak at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison. During August - October 2020, 3,485 students tested positive, including 856/6,162 students living in residence halls. Case counts began rising during move-in week for on-campus students (August 25-31, 2020), then rose rapidly during September 1-11, 2020. UW-Madison initiated multiple prevention efforts, including quarantining two residence halls; a subsequent decline in cases was observed. Genomic surveillance of cases from Dane County, where UW-Madison is located, did not find evidence of transmission from a large cluster of cases in the two residence halls quarantined during the outbreak. Coordinated implementation of prevention measures can effectively reduce SARS-CoV-2 spread in university settings and may limit spillover to the community surrounding the university.
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