Surveillance and study protocols

ECDC provides technical guidance to the Member States. This includes guidance on data collection on outbreaks in closed settings, on contact tracing and on the transition from COVID-19 emergency surveillance to routine surveillance. 

The following technical guidance is available:

TESSy reporting protocols for COVID-19 and for Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) surveillance contain guidelines on how to prepare data for submission to TESSy, lists all deadlines, and points out recent changes to the reporting metadata.

COVID-19 surveillance guidance

Most European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries that had established comprehensive testing and reporting of all COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths are transitioning or planning to transition to more sustainable, objective-driven, surveillance systems. These systems will focus on capturing cases of acute respiratory infections, influenza-like illnesses, and severe acute respiratory infections, with an unbiased proportion of these being systematically tested for SARS-CoV-2 and possibly for influenza and other respiratory infections. Such systems will send most of the samples for further virus characterisation.

This guidance provides Member States with updated surveillance objectives and options for effectively implementing this transition:

Publication

COVID-19 surveillance guidance - Transition from COVID-19 emergency surveillance to routine surveillance of respiratory pathogens

Guidance -

This publication offers practical guidance to EU/EEA countries, encouraging them to transition from emergency surveillance for COVID-19 to more sustainable, objective-driven, surveillance systems.

COVID-19 surveillance guidance - EN - [PDF-308.83 KB]

Publication

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Contact Tracing Reporting Protocol, Version 1

Monitoring -

This reporting protocol describes the collection of data regarding contact tracing. The data collection aims to help assess the effectiveness and efficiency of contact tracing operations, to provide information on transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and to provide contextual information on the progression of the pandemic to tailor response measures.

Publication

Data collection on COVID-19 outbreaks in closed settings: long-term care facilities, version 2.1

Monitoring -

The main aim of this activity is to collect information on the severity of breakthrough COVID-19 infections in outbreaks at long-term care facilities (LTCFs) and to obtain an estimate of relative risk of infection for vaccinated residents and staff members in these settings, by SARS-CoV-2 variant, vaccine product and number of vaccine doses.

Publication

Guidance for representative and targeted genomic SARS-CoV-2 monitoring

Guidance -

This document offers practical guidance for EU/EEA Member States on implementing genomic SARS-CoV-2 surveillance. It also includes advice on how to estimate the number of sequenced samples needed to achieve various objectives, including the early detection of novel variants.

Publication

European surveillance of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities in the EU/EEA: aggregate data reporting - Surveillance protocol version 1.1

Monitoring -

This surveillance protocol seeks to enable countries to report their existing national surveillance data on COVID-19 in LTCFs easily and regularly. This will enable ECDC to report national trends in the EU/EEA, with the aim of providing all EU/EEA countries with timely information to support their preparedness activities for LTCFs.

Publication

Methodology for estimating point prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection by pooled RT-PCR testing

Guidance -

The methodology presented in this document provides a way to efficiently estimate COVID-19 prevalence by analysing the results of pooled RT-PCR tests, without the need to identify individual test results. The statistical foundation of the methodology is explained in detail.

Publication

Surveillance of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities in the EU/EEA

Monitoring -

ECDC has worked with EU/EEA countries to develop a methodology for regular national reporting of existing national surveillance data on COVID-19 in LTCFs, aiming for maximum feasibility. This is to enable ECDC to communicate timely information on epidemiological trends of COVID-19 in LTCFs, in support of national and EU/EEA-level preparedness and response activities.

Page last updated 2 Dec 2021