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1.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 5900, 2021 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387467

ABSTRACT

University administrators face decisions about how to safely return and maintain students, staff and faculty on campus throughout the 2020-21 school year. We developed a susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered (SEIR) deterministic compartmental transmission model of SARS-CoV-2 among university students, staff, and faculty. Our goals were to inform planning at our own university, Emory University, a medium-sized university with around 15,000 students and 15,000 faculty and staff, and to provide a flexible modeling framework to inform the planning efforts at similar academic institutions. Control strategies of isolation and quarantine are initiated by screening (regardless of symptoms) or testing (of symptomatic individuals). We explored a range of screening and testing frequencies and performed a probabilistic sensitivity analysis. We found that among students, monthly and weekly screening can reduce cumulative incidence by 59% and 87%, respectively, while testing with a 2-, 4- and 7-day delay between onset of infectiousness and testing results in an 84%, 74% and 55% reduction in cumulative incidence. Smaller reductions were observed among staff and faculty. Community-introduction of SARS-CoV-2 onto campus may be controlled with testing, isolation, contract tracing and quarantine. Screening would need to be performed at least weekly to have substantial reductions beyond disease surveillance. This model can also inform resource requirements of diagnostic capacity and isolation/quarantine facilities associated with different strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Mass Screening , Models, Theoretical , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Universities , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Contact Tracing , Humans , Incidence , Prevalence , Public Health Surveillance
2.
Proc Biol Sci ; 288(1949): 20203074, 2021 04 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388074

ABSTRACT

Initial efforts to mitigate transmission of SARS-CoV-2 relied on intensive social distancing measures such as school and workplace closures, shelter-in-place orders and prohibitions on the gathering of people. Other non-pharmaceutical interventions for suppressing transmission include active case finding, contact tracing, quarantine, immunity or health certification, and a wide range of personal protective measures. Here we investigate the potential effectiveness of these alternative approaches to suppression. We introduce a conceptual framework represented by two mathematical models that differ in strategy. We find both strategies may be effective, although both require extensive testing and work within a relatively narrow range of conditions. Generalized protective measures such as wearing face masks, improved hygiene and local reductions in density are found to significantly increase the effectiveness of targeted interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Masks , Physical Distancing , Quarantine
3.
JAMA Intern Med ; 181(10): 1343-1350, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1368408

ABSTRACT

Importance: Much remains unknown about the transmission dynamics of COVID-19. How the severity of the index case and timing of exposure is associated with disease in close contacts of index patients with COVID-19 and clinical presentation in those developing disease is not well elucidated. Objectives: To investigate the association between the timing of exposure and development of disease among close contacts of index patients with COVID-19 and to evaluate whether the severity of the index case is associated with clinical presentation in close contacts who develop COVID-19. Design, Setting, and Participants: This study used a large, population-based cohort of 730 individuals (index patients) who received a diagnosis of COVID-19 in Zhejiang Province, China, from January 8 to July 30, 2020, along with a contact tracing surveillance program. Field workers visited 8852 close contacts of the index patients and evaluated them for COVID-19 through August 2020. A timeline was constructed to characterize different exposure periods between index patients and their contacts. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was the attack rate of COVID-19, defined as the total number of new COVID-19 cases diagnosed among contacts of index patients divided by the total number of exposed contacts. A secondary outcome was asymptomatic clinical presentation among infected contacts. Relative risks were calculated to investigate risk factors for COVID-19 among contacts and asymptomatic clinical presentation among infected contacts. Results: Among 8852 close contacts (4679 male contacts [52.9%]; median age, 41 years [interquartile range, 28-54 years]) of 730 index patients (374 male patients [51.2%]; median age, 46 years [interquartile range, 36-56 years]), contacts were at highest risk of COVID-19 if they were exposed between 2 days before and 3 days after the index patient's symptom onset, peaking at day 0 (adjusted relative risk [ARR], 1.3; 95% CI, 1.2-1.5). Compared with being exposed to an asymptomatic index patient, the risk of COVID-19 among contacts was higher when they were exposed to index patients with mild (ARR, 4.0; 95% CI, 1.8-9.1) and moderate (ARR, 4.3; 95% CI, 1.9-9.7) cases of COVID-19. As index case severity increased, infected contacts were less likely to be asymptomatic (exposed to patient with mild COVID-19: ARR, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.1-0.9; exposed to patient with moderate COVID-19: ARR, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.1-0.8). Conclusions and Relevance: This cohort study found that individuals with COVID-19 were most infectious a few days before and after symptom onset. Infected contacts of asymptomatic index patients were less likely to present with COVID-19 symptoms, suggesting that quantity of exposure may be associated with clinical presentation in close contacts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Contact Tracing , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , China , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , Symptom Assessment , Time Factors , Young Adult
4.
Epidemics ; 36: 100483, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1306958

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Most countries are dependent on nonpharmaceutical public health interventions such as social distancing, contact tracing, and case isolation to mitigate COVID-19 spread until medicines or vaccines widely available. Minimal research has been performed on the independent and combined impact of each of these interventions based on empirical case data. METHODS: We obtained data from all confirmed COVID-19 cases from January 7th to February 22nd 2020 in Zhejiang Province, China, to fit an age-stratified compartmental model using human contact information before and during the outbreak. The effectiveness of social distancing, contact tracing, and case isolation was studied and compared in simulation. We also simulated a two-phase reopening scenario to assess whether various strategies combining nonpharmaceutical interventions are likely to achieve population-level control of a second-wave epidemic. RESULTS: Our study sample included 1,218 symptomatic cases with COVID-19, of which 664 had no inter-province travel history. Results suggest that 36.5 % (95 % CI, 12.8-57.1) of contacts were quarantined, and approximately five days (95 % CI, 2.2-11.0) were needed to detect and isolate a case. As contact networks would increase after societal and economic reopening, avoiding a second wave without strengthening nonpharmaceutical interventions compared to the first wave it would be exceedingly difficult. CONCLUSIONS: Continuous attention and further improvement of nonpharmaceutical interventions are needed in second-wave prevention. Specifically, contact tracing merits further attention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , Contact Tracing , Humans , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2
6.
JAMA Intern Med ; 180(12): 1665-1671, 2020 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-738931

ABSTRACT

Importance: Evidence of whether severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), can be transmitted as an aerosol (ie, airborne) has substantial public health implications. Objective: To investigate potential transmission routes of SARS-CoV-2 infection with epidemiologic evidence from a COVID-19 outbreak. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study examined a community COVID-19 outbreak in Zhejiang province. On January 19, 2020, 128 individuals took 2 buses (60 [46.9%] from bus 1 and 68 [53.1%] from bus 2) on a 100-minute round trip to attend a 150-minute worship event. The source patient was a passenger on bus 2. We compared risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection among at-risk individuals taking bus 1 (n = 60) and bus 2 (n = 67 [source patient excluded]) and among all other individuals (n = 172) attending the worship event. We also divided seats on the exposed bus into high-risk and low-risk zones according to the distance from the source patient and compared COVID-19 risks in each zone. In both buses, central air conditioners were in indoor recirculation mode. Main Outcomes and Measures: SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction or by viral genome sequencing results. Attack rates for SARS-CoV-2 infection were calculated for different groups, and the spatial distribution of individuals who developed infection on bus 2 was obtained. Results: Of the 128 participants, 15 (11.7%) were men, 113 (88.3%) were women, and the mean age was 58.6 years. On bus 2, 24 of the 68 individuals (35.3% [including the index patient]) received a diagnosis of COVID-19 after the event. Meanwhile, none of the 60 individuals in bus 1 were infected. Among the other 172 individuals at the worship event, 7 (4.1%) subsequently received a COVID-19 diagnosis. Individuals in bus 2 had a 34.3% (95% CI, 24.1%-46.3%) higher risk of getting COVID-19 compared with those in bus 1 and were 11.4 (95% CI, 5.1-25.4) times more likely to have COVID-19 compared with all other individuals attending the worship event. Within bus 2, individuals in high-risk zones had moderately, but nonsignificantly, higher risk for COVID-19 compared with those in the low-risk zones. The absence of a significantly increased risk in the part of the bus closer to the index case suggested that airborne spread of the virus may at least partially explain the markedly high attack rate observed. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study and case investigation of a community outbreak of COVID-19 in Zhejiang province, individuals who rode a bus to a worship event with a patient with COVID-19 had a higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection than individuals who rode another bus to the same event. Airborne spread of SARS-CoV-2 seems likely to have contributed to the high attack rate in the exposed bus. Future efforts at prevention and control must consider the potential for airborne spread of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Community-Acquired Infections , Motor Vehicles/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Transportation/methods , Air Pollution , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , China/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Community-Acquired Infections/diagnosis , Community-Acquired Infections/epidemiology , Community-Acquired Infections/prevention & control , Community-Acquired Infections/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Disease Transmission, Infectious/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
7.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; : 1-5, 2020 Jul 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-679836

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic prompted universities across the United States to close campuses in Spring 2020. Universities are deliberating whether, when, and how they should resume in-person instruction in Fall 2020. In this essay, we discuss some practical considerations for the use of 2 potentially useful control strategies based on testing: (1) severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing followed by case-patient isolation and quarantine of close contacts, and (2) serological testing followed by an "immune shield" approach, that is, low social distancing requirements for seropositive persons. The isolation of case-patients and quarantine of close contacts may be especially challenging, and perhaps prohibitively difficult, on many university campuses. The "immune shield" strategy might be hobbled by a low positive predictive value of the tests used in populations with low seroprevalence. Both strategies carry logistical, ethical, and financial implications. The main nonpharmaceutical interventions will remain methods based on social distancing (eg, capping class size) and personal protective behaviors (eg, universal facemask wearing in public space) until vaccines become available, or unless the issues discussed herein can be resolved in such a way that using mass testing as main control strategies becomes viable.

8.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 7(6): ofaa231, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-622578

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, the pathogen causing novel coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19), efficiently spreads from person to person in close contact settings. Transmission among casual contacts in settings such as during social gatherings is not well understood. METHODS: We report several transmission events to both close and casual contacts from a cluster of 7 COVID-19 cases occurring from mid-January to early February 2020. A total of 539 social and family contacts of the index patient's, including members of a 2-day wedding and a family party, were contacted and screened through epidemiologic surveys. The clinical progression of all cases is described. RESULTS: We estimate the secondary attack rate among close contacts to be 29% (2 of 7) and for the casual contacts to be 0.6% (3 of 473). The incubation period of our case cluster was 4-12 days (median, 7 days). CONCLUSIONS: Transmission efficiency among close contacts was higher than among casual contacts; however, transmission from second-generation cases may help spread the virus during the incubation period.

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