Estimating the predictive value of negative severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) results: A prospective study

  • Authors
  • Bruce Farber
  • Charles Kast
  • David A. Hirschwerk
  • Elizabeth Smith
  • Gregory J. Berry
  • James M. Crawford
  • Karina W. Davidson
  • Martin Lesser
  • Matthew Foley
  • Thomas McGinn
  • Vladimir Volel
  • Published
  • Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology


We performed a prospective study of 501 patients, regardless of symptoms, admitted to the hospital, to estimate the predictive value of a negative nasopharyngeal swab for severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). At a positivity rate of 10.2%, the estimated negative predictive value (NPV) was 97.2% and the NPV rose as prevalence decreased during the study.