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Clin Infect Dis ; 73(Suppl 1): S58-S64, 2021 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1315676


BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing remains essential for early identification and clinical management of cases. We compared the diagnostic performance of 3 specimen types for characterizing SARS-CoV-2 in infected nursing home residents. METHODS: A convenience sample of 17 residents were enrolled within 15 days of first positive SARS-CoV-2 result by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and prospectively followed for 42 days. Anterior nasal swabs (AN), oropharyngeal swabs (OP), and saliva specimens (SA) were collected on the day of enrollment, every 3 days for the first 21 days, and then weekly for 21 days. Specimens were tested for presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA using RT-PCR and replication-competent virus by viral culture. RESULTS: Comparing the 3 specimen types collected from each participant at each time point, the concordance of paired RT-PCR results ranged from 80% to 88%. After the first positive result, SA and OP were RT-PCR-positive for ≤48 days; AN were RT-PCR-positive for ≤33 days. AN had the highest percentage of RT-PCR-positive results (21/26 [81%]) when collected ≤10 days of participants' first positive result. Eleven specimens were positive by viral culture: 9 AN collected ≤19 days following first positive result and 2 OP collected ≤5 days following first positive result. CONCLUSIONS: AN, OP, and SA were effective methods for repeated testing in this population. More AN than OP were positive by viral culture. SA and OP remained RT-PCR-positive longer than AN, which could lead to unnecessary interventions if RT-PCR detection occurred after viral shedding has likely ceased.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Arkansas , Humans , Nursing Homes , RNA, Viral/genetics
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 22(1): 204-208.e1, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-947264


OBJECTIVES: To assess whether using coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) community activity level can accurately inform strategies for routine testing of facility staff for active severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: In total, 59,930 nursing home staff tested for active SARS-CoV-2 infection in Indiana. MEASURES: Receiver operator characteristic curves and the area under the curve to compare the sensitivity and specificity of identifying positive cases of staff within facilities based on community COVID-19 activity level including county positivity rate and county cases per 10,000. RESULTS: The detection of any infected staff within a facility using county cases per 10,000 population or county positivity rate resulted in an area under the curve of 0.648 (95% confidence interval 0.601‒0.696) and 0.649 (95% confidence interval 0.601‒0.696), respectively. Of staff tested, 28.0% were certified nursing assistants, yet accounted for 36.9% of all staff testing positive. Similarly, licensed practical nurses were 1.4% of staff, but 4.7% of positive cases. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: We failed to observe a meaningful threshold of community COVID-19 activity for the purpose of predicting nursing homes with any positive staff. Guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in August 2020 sets the minimum frequency of routine testing for nursing home staff based on county positivity rates. Using the recommended 5% county positivity rate to require weekly testing may miss asymptomatic infections among nursing home staff. Further data on results of all-staff testing efforts, particularly with the implementation of new widespread strategies such as point-of-care testing, is needed to guide policy to protect high-risk nursing home residents and staff. If the goal is to identify all asymptomatic SARS-Cov-2 infected nursing home staff, comprehensive repeat testing may be needed regardless of community level activity.

COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , Nursing Staff/statistics & numerical data , Skilled Nursing Facilities/organization & administration , Aged , Area Under Curve , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Indiana , Male , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 21(11): 1525-1532, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-713271


The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been especially devastating among nursing home residents, with both the health circumstances of individual residents as well as communal living settings contributing to increased morbidity and mortality. Preventing the spread of COVID-19 infection requires a multipronged approach that includes early identification of infected residents and health care personnel, compliance with infection prevention and control measures, cohorting infected residents, and furlough of infected staff. Strategies to address COVID-19 infections among nursing home residents vary based on the availability for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) tests, the incorporation of tests into broader surveillance efforts, and using results to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by identifying asymptomatic and presymptomatic infections. We review the tests available to diagnose COVID-19 infections, the implications of universal testing for nursing home staff and residents, interpretation of test results, issues around repeat testing, and incorporation of test results as part of a long-term response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We propose a structured approach for facility-wide testing of residents and staff and provide alternatives if testing capacity is limited, emphasizing contact tracing. Nursing homes with strong screening protocols for residents and staff, that engage in contact tracing for new cases, and that continue to remain vigilant about infection prevent and control practices, may better serve their residents and staff by thoughtful use of symptom- and risk-based testing strategies.

Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Sentinel Surveillance , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Humans , Long-Term Care , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Skilled Nursing Facilities