College of

About the COVID-19 Early Detection Program

A more detailed look at how to COVID-19 Early Detection Program works:

  1. Participants will consent and register to participate here or scan the QR code below.
  2. Participants will fill out the questionnaire, which will not ask about any protected health information. Instead, it asks about where participants live, learn and work. Participants will be placed in a "participant pool."
  3. At different times during the fall semester, participants may receive a notice via text or email to pick up a Spit Kit at any one of several locations around campus.
  4. Once the Spit Kit has been picked up, participants will take it home and follow the directions on the box to produce a sample. The sample is easy to provide - it's basically just spitting into a tube.
  5. The sample will be registered on the program's website. Participants will be asked about some of their recent activities and adherence to COVID-19 precautionary behaviors. This information is being collected to better understand risks for contracting and spreading the virus within and outside the MSU community. Participants will be assigned an encrypted, numeric identity, so they feel comfortable offering the most honest and accurate information. Personal identifiers will remain confidential in the MSU Data Warehouse and will not be shared with those analyzing the de-identified data.
  6. Participants will secure their sample for delivery, and drop it off at any of the many drop points on campus.
  7. Once the sample is collected, processed and analyzed, participants will be notified and receive one of two results: 
    • Not recommended for clinical diagnostic testing
    • Recommended for clinical diagnostic testing
  8. If a sample produces the second finding, individuals will be connected with a nearby clinical testing site and are recommend to self-isolate until clinical results are confirmed.

This process can help researchers to do two things – first, identify asymptomatic infections and provide recommendations to seek a clinical diagnosis, and second, get a campus-wide look at infection trends, where more services are needed, and where the program's efforts are making a positive impact. 

MSU’s decision-makers will get the data in real time, so they can make up-to-the-minute decisions for our Spartan community. We will also provide this data to participants, so they too can see how things are unfolding in real time, and how participation is making a difference.

Sign up to participate in the Community Detection Program