Repeated Testing Necessary: Assessing Negative Predictive Value of SARS-CoV-2 qPCR in a Population of Young Adults [article]

Elaine E Thompson, Joseph H Rosenthal, James Wren, Erik Seetao, Niels H Olson
2021 medRxiv   pre-print
Determining when individuals should be released from quarantine is critical for successfully managing a COVID-19 outbreak and local protocols frequently call for testing during the quarantine period, generally after a reasonable incubation period, which raises a question about the interpretation of test results during the quarantine period. We report the negative predictive value of SARS-CoV-2 qPCR tests based on a retrospective longitudinal analysis of 5349 qPCR tests collected from 1227 US
more » ... vice members infected with COVID-19 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) aircraft carrier. In our retrospective evaluation of recovering qPCR-positive quarantined crew members undergoing repeated testing, the negative predictive value is 80% for tests occurring as late as seven weeks following an initial positive qPCR test result. Repeated qPCR testing is necessary to ensure that a once-infected person is no longer shedding viral RNA. When deciding the stringency of exit criteria, we recommend considering local operational and community risk factors.
doi:10.1101/2021.03.10.21253292 fatcat:fk6zkmgb4rajndu4fszhzqxoim