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Diagnostic yield of repeat testing for SARS-CoV-2: Experience from a large health system in Los Angeles.

  • Author(s): Adamson, Paul C;
  • Goodman-Meza, David;
  • Vijayan, Tara;
  • Yang, Shangxin;
  • Garner, Omai B
  • et al.

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Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license


To determine the diagnostic yield of repeat testing for SARS-CoV-2.


A retrospective analysis was performed of all SARS-CoV-2 test results within the UCLA Health System between March 9th and April 29th, 2020. All patients with repeat test results were identified and those with discordant results were reviewed.


Between March 9th and April 29th there were 10,165 SARS-CoV-2 test results, of which 630 (6.2%) were positive. Among the 904 patients with repeat test results, 808 (89.4%) were initially negative and 96 (10.6%) were initially positive. Among the 808 patients with an initial negative test, 15 (1.9%) subsequently tested positive. Eleven cases with an initial negative SARS-CoV-2 test and without a known prior positive SARS-CoV-2 test were reviewed; 6 were employed as healthcare workers and 10 were positive on the second test.


We found a low diagnostic yield of repeat testing for SARS-CoV-2 in our health system. Repeat testing might prove useful in certain clinical scenarios, such as in healthcare workers, when symptoms develop after a negative test, and in hospitalized patients with a high clinical suspicion for COVID-19.

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