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COVID-19 Infection: Strategies on When to Discontinue Isolation, a Retrospective Study

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SARS-CoV-2, COVID 19, Coronavirus, PCR, Self-Isolation, Telemedicine



Objective: Add to available understanding of COVID-19 to help decrease further spread of SARS-CoV-2 by providing protocol providers can consider when giving patients recommendations to retest as well as length of time for self-isolation.

Methods: We retrospectively collected data from the electronic medical record of patients in the Mayo Clinic Florida's COVID Virtual Clinic. Hundred and eighteen patients with detectable results for the virus were followed. Data reviewed in this study included (1) length of time from detectable to undetectable results; (2) length of time from onset of symptoms to undetectable result; (3) length of time from resolution of fever to undetectable result.

Results: Fifty-three percent of studied patients eligible for discontinuation of self-isolation had detectable viral RNA, and therefore, underwent repeat testing. In these patients, the mean from the date of their first detectable result to attaining an undetectable result was 14.89 days. The mean time for onset of symptoms to undetectable testing was 21.5 days.

Conclusions: Hundred and eighteen patients with detectable results for SARS-CoV-2 were followed in the Mayo Clinic Florida COVID Virtual Clinic; 53% of patients still showed detectable viral RNA despite meeting CDC guidelines for discontinuation of self-isolation, prompting us to propose following a more cautious guideline that other providers could consider as a strategy to discontinue self-isolation, including increasing length of days since symptom onset.


Article available for free at PubMed Central:

Citation / Publisher Attribution

American Journal of Infection Control, v. 48, issue 9, p. 1032-1036