This research letter discusses a study that employed universal COVID testing of previously untested nursing home residents across 11 Maryland long-term care facilities.
- Untested residents were asymptomatic.
- This study identified an additional 354 cases of positive SARS-CoV-2 infection(39.6% of residents tested) . This is compared to the original 153 cases identified via targeted symptom-based testing.
- Solely utilizing symptom-based testing may miss a substantial number of asymptomatic residents who can perpetuate transmission in long-term care facilities.
- COVID outbreaks and mortality in long term care facilities may be lowered by increased testing and case detection.
Bigelow BF, Tang O, Barshick B. Outcomes of Universal COVID-19 Testing Following Detection of Incident Cases in 11 Long-term Care Facilities. JAMA Intern Med. Published online July 14, 2020. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.3738
Summary authored by Daniel Chimitt with edits by Jennifer Carnahan, MD, MPH, MA