UK begins study of student COVID quarantine times

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Public Affairs)Beginning this week, some University of Kentucky students living on campus who are in quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19, will be invited to participate in a research study to determine if a testing strategy early during their quarantine is predictive of them remaining negative on day 14 –the typical length for quarantine.

Ultimately, the study results could aid in providing more information to determine if this testing strategy could safely shorten the period of quarantine.

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The study is among the latest measures taken as part of UK’s START (Screening, Testing and Tracing to Accelerate Restart and Transition)program, according to Dr. Robert DiPaola, team lead of the START program and dean of the UK College of Medicine.

UK students who are in quarantine who are interested in participating in the study will be asked to provide nasal swab samples on days three, five, seven, 10 and 14 of their quarantine, said Jill Kolesar, professor in the UK College of Pharmacy and co-principal investigator for the study.

“The goal is to determine if students testing negative early in quarantine will remain negative on day 14, possibly leading to data that can lessen current protocols for a 14-day quarantine period,” Kolesar said.

About 100 UK students will be enrolled in the first phase of the study which should be completed in about one month, she said.

Results from the UK study will be shared with the CDC for consideration in future protocols and guidelines.