STANFORD, Calif., Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — The Stanford University School of Medicine today announced the launch of the Community Alliance to Test Coronavirus at Home (CATCH) Study, an effort that seeks to estimate the true population prevalence of COVID-19 across the 8.5 million population of the greater San Francisco Bay Area, and ultimately aid in the effort to reopen schools, workplaces and communities.
The CATCH Study is now seeking participants. A key aim of the CATCH Study is to scale a simple, safe, convenient, and population-scale early diagnostic system to help stop further undetected spread of COVID-19. CATCH utilizes online surveys and home delivered self-collection kits that are able to be rapidly deployed to carry out remote testing in a broad and representative sample of the population, including those underserved and vulnerable populations that might otherwise not be reached or tested. The study is enabled by the Vera Cloud Testing Platform including its novel Vera Home Test Kit, a gentle nasal swab self-collection kit that can be delivered directly to the homes of study participants by existing couriers and package delivery services.
There is no cost to CATCH Study participation, and all residents in the San Francisco Bay Area are welcome to enroll. Every participant joins online, reports their symptoms and exposures to COVID-19 daily, and may also be offered a home test kit at no cost upon reporting. If accepted, within 24 hours a home test kit will be delivered safely and conveniently by express courier to their home, where they can self-collect a sample, which is then delivered to the Stanford Health Care laboratory and tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection. All tested participants are informed of their results privately and securely online via their personal password-protected account within the CATCH website. The unique approach removes any requirement to leave home or shelter-in-place.
The study is being led by Stanford Medicine researchers Yvonne Maldonado, MD, professor of pediatric infectious diseases and of health research and policy, Lorene Nelson, MD, associate professor of health research and policy, as well as Dr. Stephen Quake, professor of bioengineering and of applied physics and co-president of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.
“We encourage as many Bay Area residents as possible to sign-up for the CATCH Study to help increase our knowledge of a virus that has had significant impacts on our communities,” said Dr. Maldonado. “Our main objective is to learn where and how the virus is spreading — whether people are displaying symptoms or not — and which communities are most vulnerable. These insights will help our scientists and local public officials gain a deeper understanding of the distribution of COVID-19 throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area so that they can stop its spread.”
With the effects of COVID-19 disproportionately affecting minority and vulnerable communities throughout the country, and specifically in the Bay Area, one of the key intentions of the study is to address inequities in testing by researching underserved populations. The testing kits will provide a convenient, no-cost, rapid home-based option for many in these communities who have difficulty accessing facility-based testing.
All San Francisco Bay Area Residents residing in the following counties can sign-up for the CATCH Study as long as they are at least 18 years of age or older, including those with or without symptoms. All CATCH Study participation is free of charge and does not require health insurance.
· Contra Costa
· San Benito
· Santa Clara
· Santa Cruz
· San Francisco City & County
· San Mateo
The researchers intend to offer home test kits each day to a portion of all CATCH participants who reported the previous day, carefully selecting participants both with and without symptoms, in order to best represent our diverse population. In addition, a pre-selected and representative group of residents will also receive direct mailings beginning October 20, 2020 on how to become CATCH participants. These mailings include a unique personal code, allowing their automatic selection for home testing upon joining the study.
Whenever a CATCH Study participant is selected for testing, a Vera Home Test Kit will be sent to the participant, generally arriving the same day or early the next morning. Each kit includes a gentle nasal swab, which requires participants to swipe only the inside of their nostrils, making it a less invasive process than other health care facility-based tests that require deeper access through the nose. Results will be made available within 24 hours of receipt by the Stanford laboratory. Participants can view their results online via their own private dashboard for the study.
The Vera Cloud Testing Platform and Home Test Kits were created by Stanford in collaboration with several other institutions, including the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub and Microsoft, and aim to increase testing capacity for COVID-19 at local, state and national levels. Stanford also intends to make the platform available under non-commercial terms to academic institutions, public health departments, laboratory providers and other organizations interested in offering expansive at home testing. The study is funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, an independent, nonprofit medical research center that brings together physicians, scientists and engineers from Stanford University, the University of California, San Francisco and the University of California, Berkeley to drive discovery and encourage collaborative science.
About Stanford University School of Medicine
The Stanford University School of Medicine consistently ranks among the nation’s top medical schools, integrating research, medical education, patient care and community service. For more news about the school, please visit http://med.stanford.edu/school.html. The medical school is part of Stanford Medicine, which includes Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children’s Health. For information about all three, please visit http://med.stanford.edu.
SOURCE Stanford Medicine CATCH Study