ORCHARDS is a public health cold and flu study sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is led by Jonathan Temte, MD PhD, and Shari Barlow at the UW – Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. The purpose of this study is to monitor cold and flu symptoms in pre-k through high school students in the Oregon School District. We look for influenza, SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19, and other respiratory viruses that make kids sick and how these illnesses affect school absences.

Eligibility Criteria

A student may be eligible if they have symptoms consistent with influenza or COVID-like illness, such as:

  • Nasal discharge (runny nose)
  • Nasal congestion (stuffy nose)
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Loss of taste/smell

A student may be ineligible if…

  • They are unable to do a nasal swab sample
  • Their illness started more than 7 days ago
  • Their last ORCHARDS collection date was less than 7 days ago

How to Participate & What it Involves

1. Call: Parents, or students 18 and older, can call 608-265-3164 to hear more information, go over screening questions, and enroll if eligible. Participation involves all family members in the household collecting three nasal swabs over the course of two weeks.

2. Get supplies: A study coordinator will typically drop off all testing supplies at your front door within 24 hours.

3. Complete nasal swab collection: Families should complete nasal swab collection, refrigerate the samples, and set them outside for contact-free pick up at the scheduled time. Each participating family will receive a $50 gift card with their supplies.

4. Get results: A research coordinator will typically call with PCR results within 48 hours. Result times may vary depending on laboratory capacity.

CALL 608-265-3164 or Email us to see if you and your child can participate!

Meet our team! Carly, Maureen, Sarah, Kelly, Shari, Cecilia, Emily, and Cristalyne.



Assessment and comparison of the ILI case definition in clinical and school-based community settings: ORCHARDS/IISP

Rapid Antigen Testing in School Health Offices for Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza A

Effect of planned school breaks on student absenteeism due to influenza-like illness in school aged children-Oregon School District, Wisconsin September 2014-June 2019

Feasibility and Functionality of SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Testing in K-12 School Health Offices

Changing pattern of respiratory virus detections among school-aged children in a small community – Dane County, Wisconsin, September to December 2022

Factors influencing sensitivity of a rapid influenza diagnostic test in a community-based population of kindergarten through 12th-grade students: Wisconsin 2015-2020


SARS-CoV-2 co-detection with influenza A and other respiratory viruses among school-aged children and their household members— March 12, 2020, to February 22, 2022, Dane County, Wisconsin

Cause-specific student absenteeism monitoring in K-12 schools for detection of increased influenza activity in the surrounding community-Dane County, Wisconsin, 2014-2020

Notes from the Field: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant Infection in 10 Persons Within 90 Days of Previous SARS-CoV-2 Delta Variant Infection – Four States, October 2021-January 2022


The Oregon Child Absenteeism Due to Respiratory Disease Study (ORCHARDS): Rationale, objectives, and design

Evidence of Early Household Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Involving a School-aged Child


Comparison of participant-collected nasal and staff-collected oropharyngeal specimens for human ribonuclease P detection with RT-PCR during a community-based study


Sequential, within‐season infection with influenza A (H3N2) in a usually healthy vaccinated child

An assessment of parental knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding influenza vaccination


Oregon CHild Absentee due to Respiratory Disease Study

How to Participate

If your child is coming down with a cold or flu CALL 608-265-3164 or Email us to see if you and your child can participate!

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