What testing is recommended for asymptomatic individuals with known or suspected exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to control transmission?

Updated: Jun 16, 2020
  • Author: Medscape Drugs & Diseases; more...
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Testing is recommended for all close contacts of individuals with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, especially initial testing during an outbreak or pandemic due to the high likelihood of exposure. [3] Rapid identification and testing of contacts of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection is important because of the potential for asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission.

Settings in which broader testing beyond close contacts is recommended as part of a strategy to control SARS-CoV-2 transmission includes high-risk locations that have the potential for rapid and widespread SARS-CoV-2 dissemination (eg, meat processing plant) or in which populations at risk for severe disease (eg, long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and psychiatric residential treatment facilities) could become exposed. [3] Expanded testing might include testing of all contacts in proximity to someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection, or even testing all individuals within a shared setting (eg, facility-wide testing).

The CDC currently recommends expanded contact testing in the following guidance documents [3] :

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