Asymptomatic and Presymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infections in Residents of a Long-Term Care Skilled Nursing Facility — King County, Washington, March 2020
Kimball, Anne et al.
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What is already known about this topic? Once SARS-CoV-2 is introduced in a long-term care skilled nursing facility (SNF), rapid transmission can occur. What is added by this report? Following identification of a case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a health care worker, 76 of 82 residents of an SNF were tested for SARS-CoV-2; 23 (30.3%) had positive test results, approximately half of whom were asymptomatic or presymptomatic on the day of testing. What are the implications for public health practice? Symptom-based screening of SNF residents might fail to identify all SARS-CoV-2 infections. Asymptomatic and presymptomatic SNF residents might contribute to SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Once a facility has confirmed a COVID-19 case, all residents should be cared for using CDC-recommended personal protective equipment (PPE), with considerations for extended use or reuse of PPE as needed.