The lack of available testing for SARS-CoV-2 has been one of the primary challenges in the development and implementation of a comprehensive approach to infection prevention and transmission in the United States (US). In response to the need for increased testing capacities and capabilities, the University of Louisville (UofL) Division of Infectious Diseases Center of Excellence for Research in Infectious Diseases (CERID) initiated the Louisville Coronavirus Surveillance Program, a comprehensive approach to surveillance and testing of patients and healthcare workers. The first specimens were accepted on March 12, 2020, and parallel testing was done using a high-capacity testing process at the Division of Infectious Diseases CLIA-certified laboratory to ensure concordant results. Steps in the testing process began with validation of the testing methods and included database development, acceptance of specimens, tracking and cataloging of specimens, testing, and reporting of results. Quality metrics were developed and used to prevent error and facilitate rapid reporting. Between March 12, 2020, and April 30, 2020, more than 5,500 tests were performed, identifying more than 850 patients and healthcare workers infected with COVID-19 in the Louisville, Kentucky, area. Although the process used high-capacity robotics for testing procedures, the methods described here are applicable to settings employing a variety of laboratory testing methods.
Funds for implementation of the LCSP were provided by the President of the University of Louisville, Neeli Bendapudi, and the Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation, Dr. Kevin Gardner.
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Carrico, Ruth; Balcom, Dawn; Johnson, William; Aboelnasr, Amr; Abuhalaweh, Mutasem; Furmanek, Stephen; Smith, Montray; Lasnik, Amanda; Chung, Donghoon; and Ramirez, Julio A.
"Implementation of the Louisville COVID-19 Surveillance Protocol: Experiences from the University of Louisville Center of Excellence for Research in Infectious Diseases [CERID],"
The University of Louisville Journal of Respiratory Infections: Vol. 4
, Article 10.
Available at: https://ir.library.louisville.edu/jri/vol4/iss1/10