UC San Diego has conducted 100,000 COVID-19 student tests since the start of winter quarter, a 98 percent increase in testing compared to fall quarter. Student participation in the campus’ Return to Learn weekly mandated testing protocols has helped keep the positivity rate at 0.2 percent.
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.
In November 2020, a new variant of COVID-19 was identified in the United Kingdom (B1.1.7). In December 2020, it was announced another variant had been uncovered in South Africa (B1.351). Yet another emerged in January in Brazil, known as P.1. A virus can mutate when it copies itself as it spreads.
Known as Triton Health Ambassadors, a team of 400 UC San Diego undergraduates, have been recruited to reinforce healthy behaviors among students on- and off-campus, from wearing masks to maintaining physical distance and participating in weekly COVID testing.
With the third week of winter quarter underway at the University of California San Diego, COVID-19 case rates have fallen dramatically since classes resumed on Jan. 4. The current test positivity rate on campus has reduced to pre-break levels of less than 1%.
There’s no doubt 2020 has been a year unlike any other, forcing each of us to rethink how and, often, why we do things. Yet in the face of so much disruption and uncertainty, the UC San Diego community forged ahead and continued to do what we do best—innovate and inspire change.
In September 2020, UC San Diego students and employees became the first participants of the CA Notify smartphone tool, which works behind-the-scenes to automate exposure notification among people who have been in close proximity of each other, augmenting traditional contact tracing.
Despite the spikes of COVID-19 cases in California, UC San Diego has successfully curtailed outbreaks through a combination of strategic public health interventions driven by the university’s Return to Learn program.
UC San Diego’s nationally recognized, evidence-based Return to Learn program employs a comprehensive suite of education, monitoring, testing, intervention and notification tools that no other university is using. And the program continues to expand.
A team fielded for the first time by SDSC and UC San Diego achieved 4th place overall out of 19 teams in the Student Cluster Competition, held during the annual Supercomputing Conference (SC20).