Help Us to Stop

Study Purpose

This research is being conducted by Donald K. Milton, MD, DrPH and a team of researchers at the University of Maryland with funding from the University and U.S. government agencies.

The purpose of this study is to detect and collect samples from early onset cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that emerged and was first identified in Wuhan, China, in 2019.

Surveillance of people will help us identify infections early and contribute to the public health response to COVID-19. Collecting samples from infected participants will allow us to better understand and develop countermeasures for future infections so that we can help to STOP COVID-19!

Study Overview

We are currently recruiting:

  • People with COVID-19 infection who have recent onset of symptoms (a week or less and isolated at home) for a VIRUS SHEDDING AND FACE MASK STUDY and

  • People coming to work (i.e. essential workers) or living on the UMD campus for a UMD COVID-19 SURVEILLANCE STUDY

For people with recent infection: you would come to a research clinic on the College Park campus for 2 visits, approximately 2-4 days apart to evaluate your illness and to see if you are shedding virus in the air. This is a critical part of the research because there is little or no information about whether infected persons spread the virus through airborne microdroplets in their exhaled breath and whether surgical and homemade masks can help to prevent the spread of the virus. You will also be asked to return for a short follow-up visit in approximately one month.

For essential workers: you would be asked to complete a daily symptom questionnaire and temperature measurement and drop off a weekly saliva sample. You may also be able to participate in testing whether wearing a device paired to your cell phone via bluetooth that provides continuous biometric data can detect early signs of infection.

For people who have recovered: We are no longer enrolling recovered cases who have not been a part of the surveillance and shedding studies.

If you are an essential worker (working or living on campus), study participation will involve getting a daily text message with a link to a brief symptom and temperature questionnaire. You would also collect and drop off a saliva sample weekly for COVID-19 infection testing.

If you are a currently infected study participation will involve answering questionnaires, a temperature measurement, swabs of your nose and cell phone, saliva and blood sample collection, and exhaled breath samples collected while sitting in a booth, depending on the type of study visit.

We may also ask you to give or email an informational flyer to your household contacts (people you live with or have regular contact with) so that we can test them to see if they have the infection as well. This will allow us to trace how the infection moves between people.

For more information on the specific parts of each study, see the consent forms linked below.

How to Help

If you would like to volunteer for the surveillance study or were recently infected and want to volunteer for the shedding study, please email us with a message about which study you want to volunteer for at or call 424-246-8358.