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A look at universal testing of pregnant women and their asymptomatic support person for delivery in one New York City hospital found that prevalence was 15.5% and 9.6%, respectively, among those who initially screened negative for COVID-19 symptoms. Among pregnant women with positive COVID-19, 58% of support persons were also positive. Only 3% of support persons were positive when a pregnant woman tested negative for COVID-19.
This article highlights the large number of people (both pregnant women and their support persons for this study) who remain asymptomatic but are COVID-19–positive. The data also show high rates of transmission between close contacts, with more than half of support persons testing positive for COVID-19 when a pregnant woman also tested positive.
– Andrea Dotson, MD, MSPH
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
To evaluate the rate of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection with the use of universal testing in our obstetric population presenting for scheduled deliveries, as well as the concordance or discordance rate among their support persons during the initial 2-week period of testing. Additionally, we assessed the utility of a screening tool in predicting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing results in our cohort.
This was an observational study in which all women who were scheduled for a planned delivery within the Mount Sinai Health system from April 4 to April 15, 2020, were contacted and provided with an appointment for themselves as well as their support persons to undergo COVID-19 testing 1 day before their scheduled delivery. Both the patients and the support persons were administered a standardized screen specific for COVID-19 infection by telephone interview. Those support persons who screened positive were not permitted to attend the birth. All patients and screen-negative support persons underwent SARS-CoV-2 testing.
During the study period, 155 patients and 146 support persons underwent SARS-CoV-2 testing. The prevalence of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection was 15.5% (CI 9.8-21.2%) and 9.6% (CI 4.8-14.4%) among patients and support persons, respectively. The rate of discordance among tested pairs was 7.5%. Among patients with COVID-19 infection, 58% of their support persons also had infection; in patients without infection, fewer than 3.0% of their support persons had infection.
We found that more than 15% of asymptomatic maternity patients tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection despite having screened negative with the use of a telephone screening tool. Additionally, 58% of their asymptomatic, screen-negative support persons also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Alternatively, testing of the support persons of women who had tested negative for COVID-19 infection had a low yield for positive results. This has important implications for obstetric and newborn care practices as well as for health care professionals.