In a previous study in which more than 1,000 staff at Cambridge who felt well enough to work, and did not fit the government criteria for COVID-19 infection, were tested, 3% were found positive for SARS-CoV-2 (read the original research here https://elifesciences.org/articles/58728).
Health care worker testing was carried out using oropharyngeal/nasopharyngeal swabbing to detect current Covid-19 infection. The samples were analysed using a technique called PCR, which copies and reads any virus genetic information in the swab; if coronavirus is present, the test changes colour. As well as being tested, staff were asked about relevant coronavirus symptoms.
Many thousands were tested in Cambridge during the staff programme, which finished in Cambridge on 7 August.
During the testing programme, staff were also offered the opportunity to join the NIHR BioResource to help with coronavirus research, resulting in an additional 6,000 participants to the NIHR COVID-19 BioResource.
“We were delighted with – but not surprised by – the generous and enthusiastic response of NHS staff,” says Dr Nathalie Kingston, Director of the NIHR BioResource. “That so many of those tested also sign up to be part of research into COVID-19 says much about their dedication to tackling this disease. It helps speed the work to understand the immune response and genetics behind coronavirus infection.”
Read the full story here https://elifescienceReads.org/articles/58728