Study Detail

CoMMinS

Mapping and mitigation of COVID-19 in schools (CoMMinS)

Status: Open

Type: Observational/Interventional

Funder: NIHR/UKRI

Sponsor: University of Bristol

CI: Prof. Caroline Relton

IRAS-Number: 290071

CPMS-ID: 47229

Approval Date: 05 August 2020

Summary:

This project will meet the urgent need for mapping and mitigation of Covid-19 in schools in light of their re-opening in September 2020, which poses a major challenge due to the likelihood of cases being asymptomatic, high number of contacts, presence of vulnerable persons, and potential for rapid onward transmission to family contacts of children and staff. These challenges must be weighed against the benefits of resuming children's education, peer interaction and social development. A deeper understanding of infection history and dynamics and enhanced mitigation measures will inform outbreak control and future pandemic resilience. We will undertake a large-scale mapping study of prior and current Covid-19 infection in pupils and staff, including prospective testing over 6 months, to dramatically enhance our understanding of infection patterns in this age group. Results will be mapped to home postcode location and linked to NHS system-wide data to highlight area-based and individual-level risk factors. Where an infection is identified, we will invite the household to participate in a follow-up study in which we will test members of the household and close contacts weekly for 4 weeks. We will undertake environmental surveillance via swabbing of surfaces within schools. In partnership with the University of Middlesex we will undertake a study of Covid-19 viral RNA in wastewater effluent autosampled twice weekly from participating schools. To mitigate against infection transmission we will adapt evidence-based digital tools and co-create whole school interventions to support positive infection control practices by staff, parents and pupils. We will co-design and develop a system to collate multiple information sources to augment contact tracing and facilitate outbreak control. We will explore the impact of returning to school for staff and pupils' mental wellbeing, their attitudes towards actions taken to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, and potential interventions to address identified difficulties.

Description:

This project will meet the urgent need for mapping and mitigation of Covid-19 in schools in light of their re-opening in September 2020, which poses a major challenge due to the likelihood of cases being asymptomatic, high number of contacts, presence of vulnerable persons, and potential for rapid onward transmission to family contacts of children and staff. These challenges must be weighed against the benefits of resuming children's education, peer interaction and social development. A deeper understanding of infection history and dynamics and enhanced mitigation measures will inform outbreak control and future pandemic resilience. We will undertake a large-scale mapping study of prior and current Covid-19 infection in pupils and staff, including prospective testing over 6 months, to dramatically enhance our understanding of infection patterns in this age group.

Study URL:

http://www.hprubse.nihr.ac.uk/research/covid-19-research/covid-19-mapping-and-mitigation-in-schools-commins/

Back to listing