UMass to Test At-Random in New State-Commissioned Study

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health allotted $1.5 million for research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

NBC Universal, Inc.

University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers are taking a new approach to testing for COVID-19, aimed at getting ahead of the spread. 

Right now, most testing focuses on people who have symptoms or might have been exposed to others who are sick. In a study commissioned by the state, UMass will spend the next 14 months selecting people at random to be tested for the virus as well as antibodies.  

The goal is to better understand asymptotic cases. Approximately 60% of all viral transmission is due to people who are asymptomatic, according to experts at the university.

The study will pay 550 participants to get tested each month. The results will then be shared with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which gave them $1.5 million for the research. 

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