Citywide serosurveillance of the initial SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in San Francisco.


(SCALE-IT), a platform through which we systematically tested remnant samples from routine blood draws in two major hospital networks in San Francisco for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies during the early months of the pandemic. Importantly, SCALE-IT allows for algorithmic sample selection and rich data on covariates by leveraging electronic medical record data. We estimated overall seroprevalence at 4.2%, corresponding to a case ascertainment rate of only 4.9%, and identified important heterogeneities by neighborhood, homelessness status, and race/ethnicity. Neighborhood seroprevalence estimates from SCALE-IT were comparable to local community-based surveys, while providing results encompassing the entire city that have been previously unavailable. Leveraging this hybrid serosurveillance approach has strong potential for application beyond this local context and for diseases other than SARS-CoV-2.

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