As the Centre County COVID-19 Data4Action Research Project moves into phase three, the next round of clinic visits and surveys for the student participants is underway as of April 1, 2021 - please watch for emails with the information. For the community resident participants, scheduling will begin in early May, 2021. Our researchers are encouraging participants to continue in this important study, whether they have received their vaccination for COVID-19 or not. Emails with details will go out in late April.
The third wave of biological testing will allow researchers to document changes to exposure of the virus over time. Results from the 345 community participants indicate that 5.5% tested positive for the COVID-19 antibodies between August and October. Further testing through December revealed that an additional 8% of community participants returned a positive antibody result.
Of 625 student participants who returned to campus for fall instruction, 31% tested positive for the COVID-19 antibodies between October and November. Researchers also found that contact with known COVID-19 positive individuals present at small gatherings were significant predictors of detecting positive antibody results among returning students.
Despite a high positivity rate among students in the fall, the positivity rate in the community remained stable from before student arrival to after their departure in December. This indicates that there is the potential for containing the virus in sub-populations.
Researchers are also considering future direction of the project after the third wave of testing for participants is completed. Researchers would like to track vaccination experiences, long-term effects of COVID-19, changes in behaviors, family dynamics, substance abuse, vaccine hesitancy, trust in science, and more among community members and students.