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Targeted testing or screening may be an appropriate strategy to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2, especially as many people may be contagious without experiencing symptoms. The aim of this rapid overview was to identify studies comparing different test strategies aiming to assess the effectiveness of different test and screening strategies on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Through systematic searches in Ovid Medline, Cochrane COVID-19 study registers and Cochrane Central in November 2020, we identified 1485 unique references. None of identified publications compared the effect of different test strategies on virus transmission directly.
We identified many cross-sectional studies in which patients and staff in hospitals and nursing homes were screened for SARS-CoV-2. Selected studies were listed and visually displayed, as they may tell us something about the prevalence of infection. It is unclear to what extent the tests detect non-infectious cases and whether the detection takes place early enough to prevent infection. The identified cross-sectional studies are therefore not suited to conclude about the effect of different test and screening strategies.