High risk of COVID-19 spreading among hospital roommates, study finds

Hospital patients sharing a room with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 are at a high risk of contracting the virus, according to a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

For the study, published June 18, researchers analyzed SARS-CoV-2 transmission among 11,290 patients who shared rooms at Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital from September 2020 to April 2021.

Twenty-five patients tested positive for COVID-19 during their hospital stay. Of the 31 people who shared a room with these patients, 39 percent tested positive. 

"The risk of COVID-19 spread is quite high if you find yourself in a room with someone that is contagious with the virus for several hours," researchers told Healio. "Hospitals must balance the need to provide essential care for patients against the risk for transmission in shared patient rooms, so during times of high community incidence (or during hospital-based outbreaks), they should consider mitigation strategies like rapid testing, serial testing and only placing vaccinated patients in shared rooms."


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