Say Yes! Covid Test Program success underscores efforts by B&B Faculty Warren Kibbe, Lisa Wruck and Jessie Tenenbaum and B&B Doctoral Candidate Aaron Jones

Recent Updates

Warren Kibbe, PhD
Oct. 18, 2021
Faculty and doctoral candidates re playing crucial roles in the Say Yes! to the Test initiative through the RADx-UP Coordination and Data Collection Center (CDCC) at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) and collaborating with the Center for Health Equity Research at UNC-Chapel Hill. 

Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), launched an initiative to determine if frequent self-administered Covid-19 testing helps residents reduce community transmission of COVID. Three communities in North Carolina, Michigan, and Tennessee were initially chosen. The program has now expanded communities within Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, and Hawaii. This will be used as be a model for how best to implement home-testing programs in both urban and rural areas.

The RADx-UP Coordination and Data Collection Center (CDCC) is researching COVID-19 testing patterns and data on disparities in infection rates, disease progression and outcomes from these communities and are conducting a study pre- and post-intervention to evaluate levels of SARS-CoV-2 in the community, including using measures of virus in wastewater. In addition, researchers will compare their results to other counties similar in size and infection rates, but that are not participating in a free testing initiative. 

This is an important component to strengthen and improve the health of all communities, as well as inform the strategy and response to COVID-19.  RADx-UP specifically focuses on underserved and/or vulnerable populations, which include health disparity populations, particularly African Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives; those in nursing homes, jails, rural areas, or underserved urban areas; pregnant women; and the homeless.

Faculty Warren Kibbe said, “It has been really exciting for me to be involved in the DCRI/UNC partnership running the NIH-funded RADx-UP Coordination and Data Collection Center (CDCC). The Say Yes! COVID Test program is distributing home tests into the hands of people in multiple communities to understand how to effectively distribute SARS-COV-2 tests and also learn if at home testing can impact the course of COVID-19 in a community. The public health department and community-based distribution models have worked remarkably well and will inform these kinds of interventions in the future.”

Read more about this study from the NIH.