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PLoS One ; 16(4): e0249901, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186608


BACKGROUND: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), evolved rapidly in the United States. This report describes the demographic, clinical, and epidemiologic characteristics of 544 U.S. persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 with complete SARS-CoV-2 testing in the beginning stages of the pandemic from January 17 through February 29, 2020. METHODS: In this surveillance cohort, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided consultation to public health and healthcare professionals to identify PUI for SARS-CoV-2 testing by quantitative real-time reverse-transcription PCR. Demographic, clinical, and epidemiologic characteristics of PUI were reported by public health and healthcare professionals during consultation with on-call CDC clinicians and subsequent submission of a CDC PUI Report Form. Characteristics of laboratory-negative and laboratory-positive persons were summarized as proportions for the period of January 17-February 29, and characteristics of all PUI were compared before and after February 12 using prevalence ratios. RESULTS: A total of 36 PUI tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and were classified as confirmed cases. Confirmed cases and PUI testing negative for SARS-CoV-2 had similar demographic, clinical, and epidemiologic characteristics. Consistent with changes in PUI evaluation criteria, 88% (13/15) of confirmed cases detected before February 12, 2020, reported travel from China. After February 12, 57% (12/21) of confirmed cases reported no known travel- or contact-related exposures. CONCLUSIONS: These findings can inform preparedness for future pandemics, including capacity for rapid expansion of novel diagnostic tests to accommodate broad surveillance strategies to assess community transmission, including potential contributions from asymptomatic and presymptomatic infections.

COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Epidemiological Monitoring , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Travel , Travel-Related Illness , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(39): 1398-1403, 2020 Oct 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-809624


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a viral respiratory illness caused by SARS-CoV-2. During January 21-July 25, 2020, in response to official requests for assistance with COVID-19 emergency public health response activities, CDC deployed 208 teams to assist 55 state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments. CDC deployment data were analyzed to summarize activities by deployed CDC teams in assisting state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments to identify and implement measures to contain SARS-CoV-2 transmission (1). Deployed teams assisted with the investigation of transmission in high-risk congregate settings, such as long-term care facilities (53 deployments; 26% of total), food processing facilities (24; 12%), correctional facilities (12; 6%), and settings that provide services to persons experiencing homelessness (10; 5%). Among the 208 deployed teams, 178 (85%) provided assistance to state health departments, 12 (6%) to tribal health departments, 10 (5%) to local health departments, and eight (4%) to territorial health departments. CDC collaborations with health departments have strengthened local capacity and provided outbreak response support. Collaborations focused attention on health equity issues among disproportionately affected populations (e.g., racial and ethnic minority populations, essential frontline workers, and persons experiencing homelessness) and through a place-based focus (e.g., persons living in rural or frontier areas). These collaborations also facilitated enhanced characterization of COVID-19 epidemiology, directly contributing to CDC data-informed guidance, including guidance for serial testing as a containment strategy in high-risk congregate settings, targeted interventions and prevention efforts among workers at food processing facilities, and social distancing.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S./organization & administration , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Public Health Administration , Public Health Practice , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Local Government , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , State Government , United States/epidemiology
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(18)2020 May 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-153541


Congregate work and residential locations are at increased risk for infectious disease transmission including respiratory illness outbreaks. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is primarily spread person to person through respiratory droplets. Nationwide, the meat and poultry processing industry, an essential component of the U.S. food infrastructure, employs approximately 500,000 persons, many of whom work in proximity to other workers (1). Because of reports of initial cases of COVID-19, in some meat processing facilities, states were asked to provide aggregated data concerning the number of meat and poultry processing facilities affected by COVID-19 and the number of workers with COVID-19 in these facilities, including COVID-19-related deaths. Qualitative data gathered by CDC during on-site and remote assessments were analyzed and summarized. During April 9-27, aggregate data on COVID-19 cases among 115 meat or poultry processing facilities in 19 states were reported to CDC. Among these facilities, COVID-19 was diagnosed in 4,913 (approximately 3%) workers, and 20 COVID-19-related deaths were reported. Facility barriers to effective prevention and control of COVID-19 included difficulty distancing workers at least 6 feet (2 meters) from one another (2) and in implementing COVID-19-specific disinfection guidelines.* Among workers, socioeconomic challenges might contribute to working while feeling ill, particularly if there are management practices such as bonuses that incentivize attendance. Methods to decrease transmission within the facility include worker symptom screening programs, policies to discourage working while experiencing symptoms compatible with COVID-19, and social distancing by workers. Source control measures (e.g., the use of cloth face covers) as well as increased disinfection of high-touch surfaces are also important means of preventing SARS-CoV-2 exposure. Mitigation efforts to reduce transmission in the community should also be considered. Many of these measures might also reduce asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission (3). Implementation of these public health strategies will help protect workers from COVID-19 in this industry and assist in preserving the critical meat and poultry production infrastructure (4).

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Outbreaks , Food-Processing Industry , Occupational Diseases/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Animals , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Humans , Meat , Occupational Diseases/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Poultry , United States/epidemiology