New COVID19 Rapid Review: Universal Screening for SARS-CoV-2 Infection

A new COVID19 Rapid Review was recently published by lead author, and member of the US Network Executive Committee, Meera Viswanathan.  The review is entitled "Universal screening for SARS-CoV-2 infection" and has an accompanying YouTube video as well as a podcast with Dr. Viswanathan.

Read the full review and plain language summary here.

Listen to the podcast here:  

Watch the YouTube video here: 

From the Plain Language Summary:

Screening aims to identify a condition in people who may not be showing any symptoms. Some people may have the COVID‐19 virus but appear healthy or have only mild symptoms. It is important to identify infected people so they can stay away from others and seek appropriate care. Incorrectly identifying COVID‐19 in healthy people could lead to unnecessary self‐isolation and further tests. Incorrectly identifying no infection in infected people could spread the virus.

Screening for COVID‐19 can include temperature checks, or asking about international travel or contact with COVID‐19 cases, or rapid tests. Screening can occur over the telephone, online, or in person, in homes, clinics, workplaces, airports or schools.

What did the review study?

· the benefits and negative effects of screening apparently healthy people for COVID‐19 infection;

· whether screening can identify those with and without the virus correctly.

To answer these questions rapidly, we shortened some steps of the normal Cochrane Review process. We are confident these changes do not affect our overall conclusions.

What did authors do?

We looked for studies that screened people who had not sought care for potential COVID‐19 symptoms.

This review includes evidence up to May 2020.