Evidence for diurnal variation in the proportion of positive PCR coronavirus tests, with a peak around 2pm
We tested the hypothesis that the proportion of positive SARS-CoV-2 real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests varied by time of day, suggesting variation in viral shedding by time of day. Among 30,000 clinical tests performed among symptomatic and asymptomatic patients in the Vanderbilt Affiliated Healthcare Network from March-June 2020, we found evidence for diurnal variation in the proportion of positive SARS-CoV-2 tests, with a peak around 2pm in the afternoon and 2-fold variation over the day. Variation was most pronounced in outpatient and inpatient testing locations.
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** This post was originally published on March 14, 2021 **