Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


Zvart Onanian School of Nursing



Date of Original Version



SARS-CoV-2 or the COVID-19 virus originated in late 2019 in Wuhan, China and spread throughout the world causing a global pandemic. Patients with respiratory symptoms presenting to hospitals are screened by frontline healthcare workers and those with COVID-19 symptoms are separated from the others. Appropriate screening is necessary to keep the disease from being transmitted to other patients and staff members. The purpose of this study was to identify commonly seen symptoms in patients that screened negative for COVID-19 by the initial triage screening but tested positive for COVID-19. A retrospective chart review of adult patients in a community hospital emergency department examining COVID-19 prescreening was performed. Patients who screened negative but tested positive for COVID-19 via PCR testing within 12 hours of the start of their emergency department encounter were included. 123 patient records were included. Provider'™s notes were reviewed for symptomology and records that mentioned respiratory symptoms, which should have caused them to screen positive, were excluded as missed triage screens. Of the remaining records, the most commonly seen symptom category was gastrointestinal followed by neurological symptoms and then psychiatric. The importance of appropriate triage screening cannot be overemphasized. As COVID-19 virus has evolved, so should symptom screening. High risk populations such as the elderly, behavioral health patients and those with substance use disorder should be recognized and assessed for immediate testing.

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