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April 06, 2021
Sponsored by
Beckman Coulter

Reducing COVID-19 Infection Rates at a University Campus with Mass Screening


Staff Scientist
Director, University of Arizona Genetics Core

Executive Director, UAHS Biorepository,
Office of the Senior VP for Health Sciences
University of Arizona

As the number of global cases of COVID-19 surpass 100 million, experts continue to call for rigorous population testing as a necessary measure to contain the spread of this infection that can move swiftly and silently.

In this webinar session, Dr. David Harris and Dr. Ryan Sprissler, who led the student and employee testing program at University of Arizona, will discuss how the university remained physically open with nearly 25% of its population on campus, while keeping infection rates below 2 percent. This is particularly challenging with a student body that can be asymptomatic and is not rigorous about social distancing and masking compliance.

To keep infection rates low, the University of Arizona has implemented frequent testing, rapid return of results and strict compliance with regards to quarantining when infection is detected.


  • The importance of frequent testing to locate and isolate contagious individuals to reduce infection rates;
  • Guidance on developing a mass screening program: how often and who to test; and how to deliver results in time to prevent the spread of infection;
  • Learnings from experiences on running a mass screening program in a university with a largely young population;
  • The successful protocol to run thousands of COVID-19 antigen tests every day with supplemental PCR and antibody testing;
  • The successful framework to centralize specimen collection sites to increase testing compliance and optimize for high throughput testing and stringent QC oversight.
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