Lan Lan, Dan Xu, Guangming Ye, Chen Xia, Shaokang Wang, Yirong Li, Haibo Xu
Four patients with COVID-19 who met criteria for hospital discharge or discontinuation of quarantine in China (absence of clinical symptoms and radiological abnormalities and 2 negative RT-PCR test results) had positive RT-PCR test results 5 to 13 days later. These findings suggest that at least a proportion of recovered patients still may be virus carriers. Although no family members were infected, all reported patients were medical professionals and took special care during home quarantine. Current criteria for hospital discharge or discontinuation of quarantine and continued patient management may need to be reevaluated. Although false-negative RT-PCR test results could have occurred as suggested by a previous study, 2 consecutively negative RT-PCR test results plus evidence from clinical characteristics and chest CT findings suggested that the 4 patients qualified for hospital discharge or discontinuation of quarantine.