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Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(8): ofab328, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370785


BACKGROUND: Health care personnel and patients are at risk to acquire severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in health care settings, including in outpatient clinics and ancillary care areas. METHODS: Between May 1, 2020, and January 31, 2021, we identified clusters of 3 or more coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in which nosocomial transmission was suspected in a Veterans Affairs health care system. Asymptomatic employees and patients were tested for SARS-CoV-2 if they were identified as being at risk through contact tracing investigations; for 7 clusters, all personnel and/or patients in a shared work area were tested regardless of exposure history. Whole-genome sequencing was performed to determine the relatedness of SARS-CoV-2 samples from the clusters and from control employees and patients. RESULTS: Of 14 clusters investigated, 7 occurred in community-based outpatient clinics, 1 in the emergency department, 3 in ancillary care areas, and 3 on hospital medical/surgical wards that did not provide care for patients with known COVID-19 infection. Eighty-one of 82 (99%) symptomatic COVID-19 cases and 31 of 35 (89%) asymptomatic cases occurred in health care personnel. Sequencing analysis provided support for several transmission events between coworkers and in 2 cases supported transmission from health care personnel to patients. There were no documented transmissions from patients to personnel. CONCLUSIONS: Clusters of COVID-19 with nosocomial transmission predominantly involved health care personnel and often occurred in outpatient clinics and ancillary care areas. There is a need for improved measures to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by health care personnel in inpatient and outpatient settings.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-3, 2021 May 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213894


Several recent reports have raised concern that infected coworkers may be an important source of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) acquisition by healthcare personnel. In a suspected outbreak among emergency department personnel, sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 confirmed transmission among coworkers. The suspected 6-person outbreak included 2 distinct transmission clusters and 1 unrelated infection.

Am J Infect Control ; 49(3): 392-395, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-710643


In our facility, 25% of personnel with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) had a higher-risk exposure to an infected patient or co-worker and 14% reported a higher-risk exposure in the community. All higher-risk exposures to infected patients occurred on non-COVID-19 units, often when there was a delay in diagnosis because COVID-19 was not initially suspected. Higher-risk exposures to co-workers with COVID-19 often involved lapses in compliance with masking in nonpatient care areas such as nursing stations and staff work or break rooms.

COVID-19/transmission , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Infection Control/statistics & numerical data , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/statistics & numerical data , Occupational Exposure/statistics & numerical data , Humans , SARS-CoV-2