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Rutgers–Newark joins national study assessing impact of coronavirus on communities

Rutgers—Newark is 1 of 26 nationwide sites participating in the Community Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Study (COMPASS) and was selected by the National Institutes of Health COVID-19 Prevention Network. – Photo by Rutgers.edu

Rutgers—Newark is set to partake in a study that will help determine the prevalence of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) within the community, according to an article from Rutgers Today. 

The University is 1 of 26 sites across the U.S. that will be studied as part of work being done by the National Institutes of Health COVID-19 Prevention Network, and it was chosen due to the large impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Newark, according to the article.

“There are still so many questions unanswered and things we have to discover in real time in relation to this pandemic,” said Shobha Swaminathan, leader of the study and an associate professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS), according to the article. “Given that COVID-19 causes a lot of asymptomatic infections, this study will help us to better understand how the virus has impacted our community.”  

The study, called the Community Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Study (COMPASS), will specifically allow researchers to better understand the frequency of current and previous COVID-19 infections, including that among children, as well as social, medical and demographic risk factors that go along with having COVID-19.

COMPASS will also look at the community’s feelings toward and participation in COVID-19 public health measures, according to the article.

Adults and children will be recruited for the study through the summer, and those who are eligible will take part in one visit lasting approximately one hour. Once there, volunteers will complete a short survey, provide a small blood sample and participate in a COVID-19 nasal swab test.

The participants will not be given any medication or vaccine, and will be compensated for their involvement in the study, according to the article.

“The COMPASS study will not only get our team back out in the field to engage safely with our local communities but it will also provide another avenue for COVID-19 testing, education and provide information on local resources,” said Christie Lyn Costanza, associate director of clinical research operations at Rutgers NJMS, according to the article.

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