COVID-19 Infection Among Youth in Foster Care


  • Mary Greiner Cincinnati Children's Hospital
  • Alex Duncan
  • Katie Nause
  • Sarah Beal


BACKGROUND Foster youth may have increased exposure to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to transient living arrangements and crowding in congregate care settings.  OBJECTIVE  To evaluate rates of acute COVID-19 infection and resolved COVID-19 infection by testing youth presenting for healthcare at a foster care clinic.

PARTICIPANTS and SETTING 390 youth in foster care presenting for healthcare at a foster care clinic.

RESULTS There were 16/648 (2%) positive tests for acute COVID-19 infection, administered to 369 youth. Six of 16 positive tests (38%) were obtained in asymptomatic youth.  207 of 390 youth enrolled received serology testing for COVID-19 and 42 (20%) were identified to have positive serology tests.  There were no demographic or child welfare characteristics associated with having a positive test.

CONCLUSIONS Screening for active COVID-19 infection in asymptomatic foster youth was very low yield.