A home is not always safe from Covid-19

From the first stay at home recommendations in March, we assumed that we were safe at home. We knew that Covid-19 transmission occurs within households. However, transmission estimates varied widely, and the data on transmission from children was limited. This CDC study shows that A home is not always safe from Covid-19.

Covid-19 (yellow) emerging from cells after attack

The research, part of an ongoing CDC-supported study, followed 101 people initially infected with Covid-19. Locations were Nashville, Tennessee, and Marshfield, Wisconsin, between April and September 2020.

What is useful from this report?

A 53% household infection rate, the study said, is higher than what has been documented so far. To date, related research has reported only a 20% to 40% infection rate.

Findings from a prospective household study with intensive daily observation for equal or greater than 7 consecutive days indicate that transmission of Covid-19 among household members was frequent from either children or adults.

Asymptomatic transmission

During 7 days of follow-up, 67% (68 of 102) of infected household members reported symptoms, which began a median of 4 days… after the index patient’s illness onset. The rates of symptomatic and asymptomatic laboratory-confirmed infection among household members was 36%… and 18%… respectively.

An important finding of this study is that fewer than one half of household members with confirmed Covid infections reported symptoms at the time infection was first detected. Many reported no symptoms throughout 7 days of follow-up. This underscores the potential for transmission from asymptomatic secondary contacts and the importance of quarantine.

Link to CDC Study “Transmission of SARS-COV-2 Infections in Households — Tennessee and Wisconsin, April–September 2020”. This short summary is a bit technical but worth reading if you want more details. There are lots of tips for people living with an infected person. A home is not always safe from Covid-19

Good understandable article on the CDC study

My comments and personal experience

I first starting writing about crowding for appraisers in July 2020. Data from government agency housing surveys on how many people lived in homes and apartments was used. I advised appraisers to find out how many people were living (and visiting) the home. When the appraisal was done and who was there earlier in the day (virus in airborne particles remaining in the air) are both needed.

I have lived within a few miles of the Fruitvale neighborhood in Oakland, CA, for 40 years. My city is separated from Oakland by a narrow part of an estuary of San Francisco Bay.

In mid-October, coronavirus testing revealed high antibody positivity rates among the neighborhood’s Latino and Indigenous residents, indicating many were likely infected with the coronavirus in the past. High rents, low wages, and many essential workers cause crowding and Covid transmission.

Participants of the study showed an overall antibody positivity rate of 10%. But Latinos had a positivity rate of 12%, compared with 27% among Mayan residents (indigenous people from Mexico), the researchers said. The overall positivity rate for Alameda County is 1.6%. The overall rate for California is 3.6%.

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