J Korean Med Sci.  2021 Feb;36(5):e45. 10.3346/jkms.2021.36.e45.

Limited Benefit of Facility Isolation and the Rationale for Home Care in Children with Mild COVID-19

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University Children's Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, Seoul Metropolitan Government-Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 5Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea


Considering the mild degree of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in children and the enormous stress caused by isolation in unfamiliar places, policies requiring mandatory isolation at medical facilities should be reevaluated especially given the impact of the pandemic on the availability of hospital beds. In this study, we assessed the usefulness of facility isolation and the transmissibility of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 by infected children to uninfected caregivers in isolation units at a hospital and a residential treatment center in Seoul during August-November 2020. Fifty-three children were included and median age was 4 years (range, 0–18). All were mildly ill or asymptomatic and isolated for a median duration of 12 days. Thirty percent stayed home longer than 2 days before entering isolation units from symptom onset. Among 15 uninfected caregivers, none became infected when they used facemasks and practiced hand hygiene. The results suggest children with mild COVID-19 may be cared safely at home by a caregiver in conditions with adherence to the preventive measures of wearing facemasks and practicing hand hygiene.


COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Children; Isolation
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