Testing for SARS-CoV-2 in care home staff and residents in English care homes: A service evaluation

Smith, Emma, Aldus, Clare, Brainard, Julii, Dunham, Sharon, Hunter, Paul, Steel, Nicholas and Everden, Paul (2020) Testing for SARS-CoV-2 in care home staff and residents in English care homes: A service evaluation. UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

Background COVID-19 has especially affected care home residents. Aim To evaluate a nurse-led Enhanced Care Home Team (ECHT) enhanced SARS-CoV-2 testing strategy. Design and setting Service evaluation in care homes in Norfolk UK. Method Residents and staff received nose and throat swab tests (7 April to 29 June 2020). Resident test results were linked with symptoms on days 0-14 after test and mortality to 13 July 2020. Results Residents (n=518) in 44 homes and staff (n=340) in 10 care homes were tested. SARS-CoV-2 positivity was identified in 103 residents in 14 homes and 49 staff in seven homes. Of 103 SARS-CoV-2+ residents, just 38 had typical symptom(s) at time of test (new cough and/or fever). Amongst 54 residents who were completely asymptomatic when tested, 12 (22%) developed symptoms within 14 days. Compared to SARS-CoV-2 negative residents, SARS-CoV-2+ residents were more likely to exhibit typical symptoms (new cough (n=26, p=0.001); fever (n=24, p=<0.001)) or as generally-unwell (n=18, p=0.001). Of 38 resident deaths, 21 (55%) were initially attributed to SARS-CoV-2, all of whom tested SARS-CoV-2+. One death not initially attributed to SARS-CoV-2 also tested positive. Conclusion Testing identified asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic SARS-CoV-2+ residents and staff. Being generally-unwell was common amongst symptomatic residents and may indicate SARS-CoV-2 infection in older people in the absence of more typical symptoms. Where a resident appears generally unwell SARS-CoV-2-infection should be suspected. Protocols for testing involved integrated health and social care teams.

Item Type: Other
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2021 00:36
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2021 23:44
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/78248
DOI: 10.1101/2020.08.04.20165928

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