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Old 01-31-2021, 10:20 AM
Pestle's Avatar
Pestle Pestle is offline Member
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Location: Tennessee
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Default Child with "Inconclusive" COVID Test Result

I've been closed with (very very mild) COVID. I suspect that either my husband brought it home a few weeks ago, or my weakest-link daycare family brought it in--that kid's dad, and my husband, are the only people in our group that have regular daily exposure to other people. I'm allowed to reopen tomorrow (pending test results on my daughter and husband).

Their kid had a fever a few weeks ago, but stayed out of care for the duration of that. Like usual, other kids in the daycare have had fevers since, but all those families tested negative. My daycare families all got tested again once I tested positive, and one of the parents has been repeatedly asking me if the other families have been tested. On the one hand, I'm not going to share medical information; on the other hand, I also need to remain vigilant and not allow a sick child into care, which means I can't sugarcoat one client's health in order to make the other clients feel comfortable--I won't disclose who's choosing to test, but I also need to exclude from care anybody that shows evidence of being sick.

Now the family with the formerly-sick kid says the kid has tested "inconclusive." So I'm asking them what the doctor thinks that means, and whether the kid symptomatic now. Doesn't "inconclusive" mean that a low viral load WAS detected?

Without a positive test, I have to rely on symptoms to exclude. But I never had COVID-specific symptoms; I've had a sinus infection since December, and all that happened to me was all of my sinus symptoms (post-nasal drip, ear and eye pressure and jaw pain) kicked way up for three days. I don't exclude for a clear runny nose, which was the only symptom the formerly-sick kid has had since her fever.

So how much of a line can or should I draw with the formerly-sick kid coming back in, once an "inconclusive" test result has been disclosed to me?
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Old 01-31-2021, 12:00 PM
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e.j. e.j. is offline Member
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I'm not sure how a doctor would interpret an inconclusive test but I would interpret it as "not definitively negative". I would want to know for sure that the child is negative before allowing her back into my day care. If it were me, I'd suggest the child either be retested if possible or have the parents keep her home for 10-14 days (after onset of symptoms) to be sure she wasn't bringing the virus into my home. I'm saying that because in September, I had 1 child go home with mild cold symptoms. He spiked a fever overnight. He tested negative as did 4 of the other kids who ended up with the same mild cold symptoms but no fever. The 6th child who had no fever and just a slight, clear runny nose ended up testing positive much to everyone's surprise. You just never know. If it were me, I'd err on the side of caution just based on that experience.
(My kids were all tested again this past week because one kid developed a runny nose and another developed that along with a fever. So far, everyone has come up negative - thank goodness! Still waiting for one more test result.)
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Old 01-31-2021, 12:38 PM
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Deftones34 Deftones34 is offline Member
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You just never know with this virus. My son's only symptom was a clear runny nose.
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Old 01-31-2021, 01:22 PM
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Ariana Ariana is offline
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I would only accept a negative test in order to return.
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Old 01-31-2021, 01:42 PM
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Pestle Pestle is offline Member
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Location: Tennessee
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Originally Posted by Ariana View Post
I would only accept a negative test in order to return.
That's good advice.

I've told the parent to contact the health department hotline in the morning for further instructions. The parent is saying that there was a problem with the test, but I'm not sure that's the takeaway that the clinic intended, and I'm under the impression it was a rapid test.
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Old 01-31-2021, 04:51 PM
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Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
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This is the info I’ve found:

What does an “inconclusive” result mean?

The UW SARS-CoV-2 Real-time RT-PCR assay targets two distinct gene regions (see SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Qualitative PCR [NCVQLT] for details). When one of the two targets, but not both, is present above the threshold for positivity, the test is reported as “inconclusive”. This is usually seen with low amounts of viral DNA. In practice, “inconclusive” results should be treated as presumptive positive COVID cases with a low viral load present.
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