The University of Massachusetts Amherst
 
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Study Estimates 5.3% SARS-CoV-2 Exposure Rate Last Summer Among UMass Amherst Undergrads and Their Families

Preliminary results from a University of Massachusetts Amherst statewide study reveal an asymptomatic COVID-19 infection rate last summer of 5.3% among undergraduate students and their families and 4% among faculty, staff, graduate students and their family members.

The mail-based study, led by infectious disease epidemiologist Andrew Lover, tested participants’ blood spot samples for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies. The initial findings are available on medRxiv, the health sciences preprint server for research not yet peer-reviewed.

Lover, an assistant professor in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, says the research can help fill in the gaps of unknown exposure and sub-clinical and asymptomatic infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. This kind of data has an important role in understanding how the virus spreads in the general population and can help identify vulnerable groups at higher risk of infection.