Improved understanding of transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) within households could aid control measures. To assess household transmission, a case-ascertained study was conducted in Nashville, Tennessee and Marshfield, Wisconsin beginning in April 2020.
Because household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is common and can occur rapidly after the patient’s illness onset, persons should self-isolate immediately at the onset of COVID-like symptoms, at the time of testing as a result of a high risk exposure, or at the time of a positive test result, whichever comes first. In addition to isolation, the CDC recommends all members of the household wear a mask when in shared spaces in the household.
Several studies have reported estimates of household transmission, largely from contact tracing activities, with limited follow-up and testing of household members or delayed enrollment relative to patient identification. The study referenced above found that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is common and occurs early after illness onset.
Please, with the holidays approaching, more people will be “nesting” in their homes. Should anyone in your family begin to show symptoms of COVID-19, even what seems like minor symptoms, take precautions and isolate. Remember, having an empty chair at the table this holiday may prevent having an empty chair permanently. Save a chair, package “to go” containers for those in isolation, and do a zoom “dinner” while celebrating the holiday!
Please stay the course, stay strong, stay well, stay safe, mask up, stay tuned!