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Community virus surveillance Even highly effective vaccines will not save us from the need to monitor severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) activity, perhaps for years to come. Public health institutions will need early warning of any uptick in cases to prepare and deploy interventions as required. Riley et al. developed a community-wide program that was designed to detect resurgence at low prevalence and has been used to track SARS-CoV-2 virus across England. In the four rounds of sampling from May to September 2020, almost 600,000 people representative of all communities were monitored. The results revealed the greatest prevalence among 18- to 24-year-olds, with increasing incidence among older age groups and elevated odds of infection among some communities. This testing approach offers a model for the type of real-time, country-wide population-based surveillance work that needs to be conducted to monitor SARS-CoV-2. Science , abf0874, this issue p. 990

Original publication




Journal article




American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Publication Date





990 - 995