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Author Notes:

Sharon H. Bergquist, Email: shoresh@emory.edu

We would like to thank Elizabeth Harrell, Tina-Ann Thompson, and the staff and physicians at the Paul W. Seavey Comprehensive Internal Medicine Clinic, the Emory Clinic Rockbridge, and the COVID-19 Virtual Outpatient Management Clinic for their contribution to data collection for this study.

Responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis; Concept and design; Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content; Final approval of the submission: All authors.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data; Drafting of the manuscript: SB, MM.

Statistical analysis: MM.

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.



  • COVID-19
  • Characteristics
  • Comorbidities
  • Non-hospitalized
  • Outpatient
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Telemedicine

Non-hospitalized Adults with COVID-19 Differ Noticeably from Hospitalized Adults in Their Demographic, Clinical, and Social Characteristics.


Journal Title:

SN Compr Clin Med


, Pages 1-9

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


The characteristics of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have primarily been described in hospitalized adults. Characterization of COVID-19 in ambulatory care is needed for a better understanding of its evolving epidemiology. Our aim is to provide a description of the demographics, comorbidities, clinical presentation, and social factors in confirmed SARS-CoV-2-positive non-hospitalized adults. We conducted a retrospective medical record review of 208 confirmed SARS-CoV-2-positive patients treated in a COVID-19 virtual outpatient management clinic established in an academic health system in Georgia. The mean age was 47.8 (range 21-88) and 69.2% were female. By race/ethnicity, 49.5% were non-Hispanic African American, 25.5% other/unknown, 22.6% non-Hispanic white, and 2.4% Hispanic. Nearly 70% had at least one preexisting medical condition. The most common presenting symptoms were cough (75.5%), loss of smell or taste (63%), headache (62%), and body aches (54.3%). Physician or advanced practice provider assessed symptom severity ranged from 51.9% mild, 30.3% moderate, and 1.4% severe. Only eight reported limitations to home care (3.8%), 55.3% had a caregiver available, and 93.3% reported initiating self-isolation. Care needs were met for 83.2%. Our results suggest the demographic and clinical characteristics of COVID-19 illness in non-hospitalized adults differ considerably from hospitalized patients and warrant greater awareness of risk among younger and healthier individuals and consideration of testing and recommending self-isolation for a wider spectrum of clinical symptoms by clinicians. Social factors may also influence the efficacy of preventive strategies and allocation of resources toward the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

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