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Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21266298

ABSTRACT

Outbreaks of COVID at university campuses can spread rapidly and threaten the broader community. We describe the management of an outbreak at a Malawian university in April-May 2021 during Malawis second wave. Classes were suspended following detection of infections by routine testing and campus-wide PCR mass testing was conducted. Fifty seven cases were recorded, 55 among students, two among staff. Classes resumed 28 days after suspension following two weeks without cases. Just 6.3% of full-time staff and 87.4% of outsourced staff tested while 65% of students at the main campus and 74% at the extension campus were tested. Final year students had significantly higher positivity and lower testing coverage compared to freshmen. All viruses sequenced were beta variant and at least four separate virus introductions onto campus were observed. These findings are useful for development of campus outbreak responses and indicate the need to emphasize staff, males and senior students in testing. Article Summary LineSuccessful management of a campus outbreak using test trace and isolate approach with resumption within a month following suspension of all in-person classes. Trends in voluntary testing by gender, age and year of study that can help in formation of future management approaches.

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