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Acad Pathol ; 8: 23742895211010253, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231236


In-system clinical laboratories have proven themselves to be a fundamentally important resource to their institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic of the past year. The ability to provide SARS-CoV-2 molecular testing to our hospital system allowed us to offer the best possible care to our patients, and to support neighboring hospitals and nursing homes. In-house testing led to significant revenue enhancement to the laboratory and institution, and attracted new patients to the system. Timely testing of inpatients allowed the majority who did not have COVID-19 infection to be removed from respiratory and contact isolation, conserving valuable personal protective equipment and staff resources at a time that both were in short supply. As 2020 evolved and our institution restarted delivery of routine care, the availability of in-system laboratory testing to deliver both accurate and timely results was absolutely critical. In this article, we attempt to demonstrate the value and impact of an in-system laboratory during the COVID-19 pandemic. A strong in-house laboratory service was absolutely critical to institutional operational and financial success during 2020, and will ensure resiliency in the future as well.

Public Health Rep ; 136(1): 88-96, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894953


OBJECTIVES: Widespread global transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), continues. Many questions remain about asymptomatic or atypical infections and transmission dynamics. We used comprehensive contact tracing of the first 2 confirmed patients in Illinois with COVID-19 and serologic SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing to determine whether contacts had evidence of undetected COVID-19. METHODS: Contacts were eligible for serologic follow-up if previously tested for COVID-19 during an initial investigation or had greater-risk exposures. Contacts completed a standardized questionnaire during the initial investigation. We classified exposure risk as high, medium, or low based on interactions with 2 index patients and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Serologic testing used a SARS-CoV-2 spike enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay on serum specimens collected from participants approximately 6 weeks after initial exposure to either index patient. The 2 index patients provided serum specimens throughout their illness. We collected data on demographic, exposure, and epidemiologic characteristics. RESULTS: Of 347 contacts, 110 were eligible for serologic follow-up; 59 (17% of all contacts) enrolled. Of these, 53 (90%) were health care personnel and 6 (10%) were community contacts. Seventeen (29%) reported high-risk exposures, 15 (25%) medium-risk, and 27 (46%) low-risk. No participant had evidence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The 2 index patients had antibodies detected at dilutions >1:6400 within 4 weeks after symptom onset. CONCLUSIONS: In serologic follow-up of the first 2 known patients in Illinois with COVID-19, we found no secondary transmission among tested contacts. Lack of seroconversion among these contacts adds to our understanding of conditions (ie, use of PPE) under which SARS-CoV-2 infections might not result in transmission and demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing is a useful tool to verify epidemiologic findings.

COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Contact Tracing/statistics & numerical data , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Occupational Exposure/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Illinois/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2
Lancet ; 395(10230): 1137-1144, 2020 04 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-8381


BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), first detected in China in December, 2019. In January, 2020, state, local, and federal public health agencies investigated the first case of COVID-19 in Illinois, USA. METHODS: Patients with confirmed COVID-19 were defined as those with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. Contacts were people with exposure to a patient with COVID-19 on or after the patient's symptom onset date. Contacts underwent active symptom monitoring for 14 days following their last exposure. Contacts who developed fever, cough, or shortness of breath became persons under investigation and were tested for SARS-CoV-2. A convenience sample of 32 asymptomatic health-care personnel contacts were also tested. FINDINGS: Patient 1-a woman in her 60s-returned from China in mid-January, 2020. One week later, she was hospitalised with pneumonia and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Her husband (Patient 2) did not travel but had frequent close contact with his wife. He was admitted 8 days later and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Overall, 372 contacts of both cases were identified; 347 underwent active symptom monitoring, including 152 community contacts and 195 health-care personnel. Of monitored contacts, 43 became persons under investigation, in addition to Patient 2. These 43 persons under investigation and all 32 asymptomatic health-care personnel tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. INTERPRETATION: Person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurred between two people with prolonged, unprotected exposure while Patient 1 was symptomatic. Despite active symptom monitoring and testing of symptomatic and some asymptomatic contacts, no further transmission was detected. FUNDING: None.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , COVID-19 , China , Contact Tracing , Female , Humans , Illinois , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel