Key Research Question: Are There Populations of Asymptomatic Individuals (e.g., Population Sampling; Congregate Living Including LTC, Vulnerable Populations; Patients Being Hospitalized, Those Associated with Outbreaks, HCWs) That Should Be Considered Priority for Screening for COVID 19 Infection (With RT-PCR), with the Goal of Surveillance and Preventing Spread Within These Populations? [open pdf - 384KB]
Key Messages from the Evidence Summary: " There is a paucity of high quality evidence around the impact and value of testing truly asymptomatic individuals within a given group or population.  There is an absence of evidence on when to swab asymptomatic individuals, what site, and how frequently to have effective, sustainable testing of asymptomatic people.  Early evidence around initiatives testing asymptomatic people (e.g., Iceland, Italy) have reported identification of asymptomatic cases in which the authors conclude that identifying these cases was vital to outbreak control.  In light of early evidence, different jurisdictions and specialties have suggested revised guidelines to include testing asymptomatic people within a given population, particularly in congregate living and risky work/living conditions when there is an outbreak.  It will be important to examine the impact of testing asymptomatic people as evidence becomes available, especially given it is unknown how infectious SARS-CoV-2 [severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2] is in asymptomatic cases."
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