Safer at School Early Alert pilot program uses wastewater and surface monitoring to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in TK-8 schools and child care centers
In an effort to help schools reduce the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks as they resume in-person instruction, UC San Diego and the County of San Diego are testing the Safer at School Early Alert system, an evidence-informed program to detect SARS-CoV-2 at schools and child care centers.
Modeled after UC San Diego’s Return to Learn, a first-of-its-kind approach to safely resume to teaching, learning and research at a university, the Safer at School Early Alert system is scaled for individual schools and child care centers without the resources available at a research university. Through daily wastewater and surface monitoring, the Safer at School Early Alert tests for the presence of particles of the coronavirus. Combined with a responsive testing strategy, the aim is to quickly identify children or staff members who are infected with COVID-19 before an outbreak occurs.
Ten San Diego County-area schools and two child care centers are participating in this SARS-CoV-2 early detection program, which is funded by the County of San Diego and designed by UC San Diego.