During the pandemic the CoMMinS study was designed by scientists from the University of Bristol in collaboration with local school head teachers, Bristol City Council and Public Health England.
The CoMMinS study main aims were to gain a better understanding of how Covid-19 infections spread amongst school pupils and staff, and how it spreads to their family contacts. We also wanted to find out what things worked best to prevent the spread of the disease in the school communities, and the impact on staff and student mental wellbeing.
Over 2000 people were recruited and consented to join the study, from 17 local primary, secondary and SEND (special educational needs or a disability) schools. We tested everybody for current Covid-19 infections, and provided our schools and families with quick feedback to help them manage infection control.
We collected over 8000 saliva samples during our monthly collections. Saliva is easy to collect and can be used to test for a current Covid-19 infection and previous infections, using PCR and antibody tests.
The following video shows how we collected the saliva samples.
After each saliva sample collection we also asked the participants or their parents/guardians to fill in a short questionnaire.
Along with monthly saliva collections we carried out a number of substudies to look at the different aspects of schools' response to the pandemic: