What is Surveillance Testing?
Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) includes ongoing systematic activities, including collection, analysis, and interpretation of health-related data, essential to planning, implementing, and evaluating public health practice. It is generally used to monitor for an occurrence, such as an infectious disease outbreak, in a population or community, or to characterize the occurrence once detected, such as looking at the incidence and prevalence of the occurrence. Surveillance testing is primarily used to gain information at a population level, rather than an individual level. Surveillance testing may be a random sampling of a certain percentage of a specific population to monitor for increasing or decreasing prevalence and determining the population effect from community interventions such as social distancing.
FDA generally does not regulate surveillance testing.
COVID surveillance looks for the presence of infection in groups to inform health management decisions at the population level. Ongoing surveillance is especially effective with groups in repeated contact.