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Statistical Considerations in the Design and Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Prevalence Studies
- Michael Hudgens, PhD, professor, Department of Biostatistics
- Bonnie Shook-Sa, DrPH, postdoctoral research associate, Department of Biostatistics
SARS-CoV-2 PCR and serology tests are critical tools for identifying COVID-19 infections, modeling transmission dynamics, estimating mortality rates and guiding policy surrounding re-opening efforts. There are a number of statistical considerations regarding the use of these tests and the design of studies aiming to estimate the prevalence of COVID-19. We will discuss challenges faced by ongoing COVID-19 prevalence studies related to study design, test performance and generalizability of results. Issues surrounding sampling frame development and adaptive sampling approaches will be discussed. A specimen pooling model will also be presented which may facilitate rapid scale-up of diagnostic testing.