In the early days of the Coronavirus (COVID) pandemic, members of university communities faced elevated risk of contracting COVID because they live and work in congregate settings, with shared living and dining arrangements. By the Fall 2020 semester, with limited information regarding the transmission of COVID, a quick, but comprehensive strategy was needed to allow students to return to university campuses, while maintaining a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff. The purpose of this project was to determine the effectiveness of the COVID surveillance and containment measures implemented in the 2020/2021 academic year for the residential campus community at Belmont University, in Nashville, Tennessee, and to determine to what extent short- and long-term outcomes were achieved. Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Evaluation Framework, the evaluation included all three components of the university’s surveillance and containment program, including point-of-care testing and contact tracing for symptomatic patients and their close contacts, voluntary asymptomatic surveillance, and mandatory athletic surveillance. Each strategy had distinct objectives and designated resources that were integrated into the broader objective of quickly identifying and isolating cases and quarantining close contacts to prevent disease transmission on campus and beyond. During the Spring 2021 semester, 4,985 rapid antigen and PCR tests were completed and 274 residential student cases, 166 non-residential student cases, and 27 cases among faculty and staff were identified, and contact traced. The early detection and isolation of residential cases and quarantine of close contacts, aided in case containment and the prevention of COVID outbreaks on campus. The point-of-care testing program identified 121 (44%) residential cases and an additional 112 (41%) were identified through careful contact tracing. The voluntary asymptomatic surveillance program identified 19 (7%) residential cases and the mandatory athletic surveillance program identified 22 (8%) residential cases. Of the 274 residential cases, 117 (43%) students were in isolation or quarantine on or before symptom development. The mean interval from symptom onset to isolation or quarantine, for all residential cases, was 1.64 days.Ongoing collaboration between Belmont Senior Leadership, University Health Services, and School of Nursing faculty and students used the best evidence available to develop and implement plans that reflected institutional values, facilitating the safe and responsible engagement of Belmont students in the life of the university.
Dr. Elizabeth Morse, DNP, MPH, FNP-BC
Scholarly Project Team Member
Dr. Laura Gray, PhD, MSN, RN
Scholarly Project Team Member
Dr. David Phillippi, PhD
Nursing, School of
Health Sciences & Nursing, Gordon E. Inman College of
Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)
coronavirus, university-based, surveillance and containment program
Lambrecht, Morgan A., "Belmont University COVID Surveillance and Containment: An Evaluation of Program Effectiveness" (2022). DNP Scholarly Projects. 62.