College COVID-19 testing can reduce coronavirus deaths in local communities

For some time, the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to be grossly under control, however the rapid spread of the Omicron BA.5 variant and thwarting of the vaccine protection, despite a huge number of people already vaccinated and boosted, is shaking the world one more time. It demands for more innovative ways to prevent and control the surges.

Among many potentially innovative measures, universally testing all the college kids has shown to reduce the coronavirus deaths in local communities. It has also shown that tracking of the COVID-19 cases in the local colleges can help nearby towns assess risk and take safety measures when needed. Studies show that the communities where colleges and universities did COVID-19 testing saw fewer COVID-19 cases and deaths than ones with schools that did not do any testing in the fall of 2020.

Although our initial armors against the pandemic like masking, social distancing and testing seems to be getting obsolete, the lack of these will favor the unchecked coronavirus transmission leading to significant life disruption and potential for the emergence of new deadly variants. Scientists urge everyone to get tested and use mask and social distancing if there is even a little suspicion of having COVID-19.

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