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The Future of Virus Tracking Can Be Found on This College Campus

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Engineering students collecting wastewater samples to test for coronavirus on the Colorado Mesa University campus

Colorado Mesa has the most sophisticated system in the country to track outbreaks, said geneticist Pardis Sabeti of the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. Its definitely the kind of analytics that people talk about having, but nobody actually has access to in this way.

Credit: Eliza Earle/The New York Times

Colorado Mesa University (CMU) and the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University have transformed CMU's campus into an epidemiological laboratory researching new avenues of pandemic management.

CMU students use the Scout application to report COVID symptoms to the Lookout digital dashboard for tracking viral transmission.

When CMU students returned to campus last August, Scout became their daily wellness passport, used to report symptoms and whether they had recently traveled outside the area; Lookout furnished a holistic perspective of campus activities, and factored in hourly results from CMU's coronavirus testing site.

Sabeti said the detailed, high-resolution data from CMU "will help us better understand viral spread in congregate settings and how we can help mitigate it in the future."

From The New York Times
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