Evaluation of a home-based 7-day infection control strategy for healthcare workers following high-risk exposure to SARS-CoV-2: a cohort study
Evidence-based infection control strategies are needed for healthcare workers (HCWs) following high-risk exposure to SARS-CoV-2. This study evaluated the negative predictive value (NPV) of a home-based 7-day infection control strategy. Methods: HCWs advised by their Infection Control or Occupational Health officer to self-isolate due to a high-risk SARS-CoV-2 exposure were enrolled between May-September 2020. The strategy consisted of symptom-triggered nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 RNA testing from
... -2 RNA testing from day 0-6 post exposure, followed by standardized home-based nasopharyngeal swab and saliva testing on day 7. The NPV of this strategy was calculated for i) clinical COVID-19 diagnosis from day 8-14 post exposure, and for ii) asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 detected by standardized nasopharyngeal swab and saliva specimens collected at days 9-10 and 14 post exposure. Interim results are reported in the context of a second wave threatening this essential workforce. Results: Among 30 HCWs enrolled to date (age 31±9 years, 24 [80.0%] female), 3 were diagnosed with COVID-19 by day 14 post exposure (secondary attack rate 10.0%), with all cases detected by the 7-day infection control strategy: NPV for subsequent clinical COVID-19 or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 detection by day 14 was 100.0% (95%CI: 93.1-100.0%). Interpretation: Among HCWs with high-risk exposure to SARS-CoV-2, a home-based 7-day infection control strategy may have a high NPV for subsequent COVID-19 and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 detection. While ongoing data collection and data sharing are needed to improve the precision of the estimated NPV, we report interim results to inform infection control strategies in light of a second wave threatening this essential workforce.