Opportunity exists to decrease healthcare-related exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), preserve infection control resources, and increase care capacity by reducing the time to diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A retrospective cohort analysis was undertaken to measure the effect of targeted rapid molecular testing for SARS-CoV-2 on these outcomes. In comparison with standard platform testing, rapid testing was associated with a 65.6% reduction (12.6 h) in the median time to removal from the isolation cohort for patients with negative diagnostic results. This translated to an increase in COVID-19 treatment capacity of 3028 bed-hours and 7500 fewer patient interactions that required the use of personal protective equipment per week.
Keywords: COVID-19; Rapid diagnostics; SARS-CoV-2.
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