News Release

COVID-19 news from Annals of Internal Medicine

All coronavirus-related content published in Annals is free

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American College of Physicians

Below please find a summary and link(s) of new coronavirus-related content published today in Annals of Internal Medicine. The summary below is not intended to substitute for the full article as a source of information. A collection of coronavirus-related content is free to the public at

More than 1 in 5 U.S. homes lack sufficient space and plumbing facilities to comply with recommendations to limit household spread of COVID-19

Minority and poor families disproportionately affected

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise those who are infected with or have been exposed to COVID-19 to isolate or quarantine at home in a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible. Researchers from Case Western Reserve University and the City University of New York at Hunter College used data from the American Housing Survey to determine the feasibility of separate rooms for isolation and quarantine for housing units in the United States. They found that more than 1 in 5 U.S. homes, housing about one quarter of all Americans, lack sufficient space and plumbing facilities to comply with WHO and CDC recommendations. This proportion is particularly high among homes occupied by minority and poor individuals and among apartments.

The authors suggest that policymakers consider offering (but not requiring) persons needing isolation or quarantine the option of staying at no cost in underutilized hotels, under medical supervision, with free meal delivery and internet and telephone access. Similar strategies have been used successfully by several Asian countries and might decrease COVID-19 transmission, particularly in minority communities. Read the full text:

Media contacts: A PDF for this article is not yet available. Please click the link to read full text. The lead author, Ashwini R. Sehgal, MD, can be reached at


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