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Int J Prison Health ; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print)2021 05 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467474


PURPOSE: In this paper, the authors present insights and findings drawn from the authors' experiences of containing a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak in a large prison in northern Italy.Within penitentiaries, close-quarter living is ripe terrain for outbreaks of disease among detainees and staff. If left unchecked, these outbreaks can easily spill over the prison walls to threaten the general public. Moreover, these risks are heightened by preexisting environmental conditions, especially overcrowding. It is thus paramount to establish effective protocols for prevention, early detection and outbreak management. The purpose of this article is to document a strategy that been at least partially successful in reducing the damage that could potentially be caused by a sustained SARS-CoV-2 outbreak within a correctional facility. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: The authors conducted a retrospective analysis on patients' and health-care workers' medical records to obtain demographic and clinical information. Descriptive data analysis was then carried out. FINDINGS: In total, the authors tested 453 people with oropharyngeal swabs from March 15, 2020, to June 30, 2020. Of these people, 58 were positive and 395 were negative, with a prevalence of 12.8%.Of the 453 patients, 60 were health workers: 24 tested positive for SARS-CoV2 ribonucleic acid (RNA); 18 developed symptoms; and three needed hospitalization.Among patients in detention, 34 resulted positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Two were hospitalized and later died. Both had severe preexisting conditions; they were aged 76 and 59 years old, respectively. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: In this study, the authors describe the design and effective implementation of prevention and containment measures against SARS-CoV-2 within the walls of a correctional facility. The authors describe how they rapidly created clean confinement sections to isolate cases in an environment designed for security at the expense of virus containment and how educational efforts have played a vital role in their strategy.

COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Infection Control/organization & administration , Prisons/organization & administration , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , Female , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors