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J Public Health Manag Pract ; 28(4): 334-343, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1865019


CONTEXT: Despite the massive scale of COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing (CI/CT) programs operating worldwide, the evidence supporting the intervention's public health impact is limited. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the Public Health-Seattle & King County (PHSKC) CI/CT program, including its reach, timeliness, effect on isolation and quarantine (I&Q) adherence, and potential to mitigate pandemic-related hardships. DESIGN: This program evaluation used descriptive statistics to analyze surveillance records, case and contact interviews, referral records, and survey data provided by a sample of cases who had recently ended isolation. SETTING: The PHSKC is one of the largest governmental local health departments in the United States. It serves more than 2.2 million people who reside in Seattle and 38 other municipalities. PARTICIPANTS: King County residents who were diagnosed with COVID-19 between July 2020 and June 2021. INTERVENTION: The PHSKC integrated COVID-19 CI/CT with prevention education and service provision. RESULTS: The PHSKC CI/CT team interviewed 42 900 cases (82% of cases eligible for CI/CT), a mean of 6.1 days after symptom onset and 3.4 days after SARS-CoV-2 testing. Cases disclosed the names and addresses of 10 817 unique worksites (mean = 0.8/interview) and 11 432 other recently visited locations (mean = 0.5/interview) and provided contact information for 62 987 household members (mean = 2.7/interview) and 14 398 nonhousehold contacts (mean = 0.3/interview). The CI/CT team helped arrange COVID-19 testing for 5650 contacts, facilitated grocery delivery for 7253 households, and referred 9127 households for financial assistance. End of I&Q Survey participants (n = 304, 54% of sampled) reported self-notifying an average of 4 nonhousehold contacts and 69% agreed that the information and referrals provided by the CI/CT team helped them stay in isolation. CONCLUSIONS: In the 12-month evaluation period, CI/CT reached 42 611 households and identified thousands of exposure venues. The timing of CI/CT relative to infectiousness and difficulty eliciting nonhousehold contacts may have attenuated the intervention's effect. Through promotion of I&Q guidance and services, CI/CT can help mitigate pandemic-related hardships.

COVID-19 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing , Contact Tracing , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United States , Washington/epidemiology
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 2993, 2021 05 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237998


Initial COVID-19 containment in the United States focused on limiting mobility, including school and workplace closures. However, these interventions have had enormous societal and economic costs. Here, we demonstrate the feasibility of an alternative control strategy, test-trace-quarantine: routine testing of primarily symptomatic individuals, tracing and testing their known contacts, and placing their contacts in quarantine. We perform this analysis using Covasim, an open-source agent-based model, which has been calibrated to detailed demographic, mobility, and epidemiological data for the Seattle region from January through June 2020. With current levels of mask use and schools remaining closed, we find that high but achievable levels of testing and tracing are sufficient to maintain epidemic control even under a return to full workplace and community mobility and with low vaccine coverage. The easing of mobility restrictions in June 2020 and subsequent scale-up of testing and tracing programs through September provided real-world validation of our predictions. Although we show that test-trace-quarantine can control the epidemic in both theory and practice, its success is contingent on high testing and tracing rates, high quarantine compliance, relatively short testing and tracing delays, and moderate to high mask use. Thus, in order for test-trace-quarantine to control transmission with a return to high mobility, strong performance in all aspects of the program is required.

COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Contact Tracing/methods , Quarantine/methods , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , United States
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(17): 523-526, 2020 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-101802


On March 30, 2020, Public Health - Seattle and King County (PHSKC) was notified of a confirmed case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a resident of a homeless shelter and day center (shelter A). Residents from two other homeless shelters (B and C) used shelter A's day center services. Testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was offered to available residents and staff members at the three shelters during March 30-April 1, 2020. Among the 181 persons tested, 19 (10.5%) had positive test results (15 residents and four staff members). On April 1, PHSKC and CDC collaborated to conduct site assessments and symptom screening, isolate ill residents and staff members, reinforce infection prevention and control practices, provide face masks, and advise on sheltering-in-place. Repeat testing was offered April 7-8 to all residents and staff members who were not tested initially or who had negative test results. Among the 118 persons tested in the second round of testing, 18 (15.3%) had positive test results (16 residents and two staff members). In addition to the 31 residents and six staff members identified through testing at the shelters, two additional cases in residents were identified during separate symptom screening events, and four were identified after two residents and two staff members independently sought health care. In total, COVID-19 was diagnosed in 35 of 195 (18%) residents and eight of 38 (21%) staff members who received testing at the shelter or were evaluated elsewhere. COVID-19 can spread quickly in homeless shelters; rapid interventions including testing and isolation to identify cases and minimize transmission are necessary. CDC recommends that homeless service providers implement appropriate infection control practices, apply physical distancing measures including ensuring resident's heads are at least 6 feet (2 meters) apart while sleeping, and promote use of cloth face coverings among all residents (1).

Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Homeless Persons/statistics & numerical data , Housing/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Washington/epidemiology