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1.
J Clin Microbiol ; 60(1): e0174221, 2022 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1629698

ABSTRACT

Point-of-care antigen tests are an important tool for SARS-CoV-2 detection. Antigen tests are less sensitive than real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (rRT-PCR). Data on the performance of the BinaxNOW antigen test compared to rRT-PCR and viral culture by symptom and known exposure status, timing during disease, or exposure period and demographic variables are limited. During 3 to 17 November 2020, we collected paired upper respiratory swab specimens to test for SARS-CoV-2 by rRT-PCR and Abbott BinaxNOW antigen test at two community testing sites in Pima County, Arizona. We administered a questionnaire to capture symptoms, known exposure status, and previous SARS-CoV-2 test results. Specimens positive by either test were analyzed by viral culture. Previously we showed overall BinaxNOW sensitivity was 52.5%. Here, we showed BinaxNOW sensitivity increased to 65.7% among currently symptomatic individuals reporting a known exposure. BinaxNOW sensitivity was lower among participants with a known exposure and previously symptomatic (32.4%) or never symptomatic (47.1%) within 14 days of testing. Sensitivity was 71.1% in participants within a week of symptom onset. In participants with a known exposure, sensitivity was highest 8 to 10 days postexposure (75%). The positive predictive value for recovery of virus in cell culture was 56.7% for BinaxNOW-positive and 35.4% for rRT-PCR-positive specimens. Result reporting time was 2.5 h for BinaxNOW and 26 h for rRT-PCR. Point-of-care antigen tests have a shorter turnaround time than laboratory-based nucleic acid amplification tests, which allows for more rapid identification of infected individuals. Antigen test sensitivity limitations are important to consider when developing a testing program.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens, Viral , Humans , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Sensitivity and Specificity
2.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(10): 2662-2665, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486732

ABSTRACT

We used the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card to screen 1,540 asymptomatic college students for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in a low-prevalence setting. Compared with reverse transcription PCR, BinaxNOW showed 20% overall sensitivity; among participants with culturable virus, sensitivity was 60%. BinaxNOW provides point-of-care screening but misses many infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Point-of-Care Systems , Sensitivity and Specificity , Students
3.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(49): 1860-1867, 2020 Dec 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389860

ABSTRACT

In the 10 months since the first confirmed case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was reported in the United States on January 20, 2020 (1), approximately 13.8 million cases and 272,525 deaths have been reported in the United States. On October 30, the number of new cases reported in the United States in a single day exceeded 100,000 for the first time, and by December 2 had reached a daily high of 196,227.* With colder weather, more time spent indoors, the ongoing U.S. holiday season, and silent spread of disease, with approximately 50% of transmission from asymptomatic persons (2), the United States has entered a phase of high-level transmission where a multipronged approach to implementing all evidence-based public health strategies at both the individual and community levels is essential. This summary guidance highlights critical evidence-based CDC recommendations and sustainable strategies to reduce COVID-19 transmission. These strategies include 1) universal face mask use, 2) maintaining physical distance from other persons and limiting in-person contacts, 3) avoiding nonessential indoor spaces and crowded outdoor spaces, 4) increasing testing to rapidly identify and isolate infected persons, 5) promptly identifying, quarantining, and testing close contacts of persons with known COVID-19, 6) safeguarding persons most at risk for severe illness or death from infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, 7) protecting essential workers with provision of adequate personal protective equipment and safe work practices, 8) postponing travel, 9) increasing room air ventilation and enhancing hand hygiene and environmental disinfection, and 10) achieving widespread availability and high community coverage with effective COVID-19 vaccines. In combination, these strategies can reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, long-term sequelae or disability, and death, and mitigate the pandemic's economic impact. Consistent implementation of these strategies improves health equity, preserves health care capacity, maintains the function of essential businesses, and supports the availability of in-person instruction for kindergarten through grade 12 schools and preschool. Individual persons, households, and communities should take these actions now to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission from its current high level. These actions will provide a bridge to a future with wide availability and high community coverage of effective vaccines, when safe return to more everyday activities in a range of settings will be possible.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Guidelines as Topic , Public Health Practice , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/transmission , Community-Acquired Infections/mortality , Community-Acquired Infections/prevention & control , Community-Acquired Infections/transmission , Humans , United States/epidemiology
4.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(30): 1044-1047, 2021 Jul 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1332446

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccination remains the most effective means to achieve control of the pandemic. In the United States, COVID-19 cases and deaths have markedly declined since their peak in early January 2021, due in part to increased vaccination coverage (1). However, during June 19-July 23, 2021, COVID-19 cases increased approximately 300% nationally, followed by increases in hospitalizations and deaths, driven by the highly transmissible B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant* of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Available data indicate that the vaccines authorized in the United States (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Janssen [Johnson & Johnson]) offer high levels of protection against severe illness and death from infection with the Delta variant and other currently circulating variants of the virus (2). Despite widespread availability, vaccine uptake has slowed nationally with wide variation in coverage by state (range = 33.9%-67.2%) and by county (range = 8.8%-89.0%).† Unvaccinated persons, as well as persons with certain immunocompromising conditions (3), remain at substantial risk for infection, severe illness, and death, especially in areas where the level of SARS-CoV-2 community transmission is high. The Delta variant is more than two times as transmissible as the original strains circulating at the start of the pandemic and is causing large, rapid increases in infections, which could compromise the capacity of some local and regional health care systems to provide medical care for the communities they serve. Until vaccination coverage is high and community transmission is low, public health practitioners, as well as schools, businesses, and institutions (organizations) need to regularly assess the need for prevention strategies to avoid stressing health care capacity and imperiling adequate care for both COVID-19 and other non-COVID-19 conditions. CDC recommends five critical factors be considered to inform local decision-making: 1) level of SARS-CoV-2 community transmission; 2) health system capacity; 3) COVID-19 vaccination coverage; 4) capacity for early detection of increases in COVID-19 cases; and 5) populations at increased risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19. Among strategies to prevent COVID-19, CDC recommends all unvaccinated persons wear masks in public indoor settings. Based on emerging evidence on the Delta variant (2), CDC also recommends that fully vaccinated persons wear masks in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. Fully vaccinated persons might consider wearing a mask in public indoor settings, regardless of transmission level, if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or is at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated (including children aged <12 years who are currently ineligible for vaccination).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Community-Acquired Infections/epidemiology , Community-Acquired Infections/transmission , Vaccination Coverage/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , United States/epidemiology
5.
J Occup Environ Med ; 64(1): 58-63, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1324826

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Before community transmission of COVID-19 was recognized in the United States, cruise ship passengers with high risk for exposure to SARS-CoV-2 were repatriated and quarantined. We describe cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) among responders. METHODS: We reviewed situation reports and responder illness reports to characterize ill responders, including illness onset date, symptoms, fever, diagnostic tests, potential breaches in PPE use, and return to work status. RESULTS: Among 339 responders, nine (3%) reported ILI. No breaches in PPE were reported. Three responders with ILI were tested for both SARS-CoV-2 infection and influenza A; none tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection and two tested positive for influenza A. CONCLUSIONS: Despite an outbreak of ILI among responders, none were diagnosed with COVID-19, suggesting preventive measures in place might have been sufficient to prevent responders from SARS-CoV-2 exposure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Ships , United States/epidemiology
6.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(8): 2052-2063, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278367

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease has disproportionately affected persons in congregate settings and high-density workplaces. To determine more about the transmission patterns of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in these settings, we performed whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis on 319 (14.4%) samples from 2,222 SARS-CoV-2-positive persons associated with 8 outbreaks in Minnesota, USA, during March-June 2020. Sequencing indicated that virus spread in 3 long-term care facilities and 2 correctional facilities was associated with a single genetic sequence and that in a fourth long-term care facility, outbreak cases were associated with 2 distinct sequences. In contrast, cases associated with outbreaks in 2 meat-processing plants were associated with multiple SARS-CoV-2 sequences. These results suggest that a single introduction of SARS-CoV-2 into a facility can result in a widespread outbreak. Early identification and cohorting (segregating) of virus-positive persons in these settings, along with continued vigilance with infection prevention and control measures, is imperative.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Minnesota/epidemiology , Phylogeny
7.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(5): 1505-1508, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262597

ABSTRACT

We evaluated nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) for Zika virus on whole-blood specimens compared with NAAT on serum and urine specimens among asymptomatic pregnant women during the 2015-2016 Puerto Rico Zika outbreak. Using NAAT, more infections were detected in serum and urine than in whole blood specimens.


Subject(s)
Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Zika Virus Infection , Zika Virus , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Humans , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Puerto Rico , Zika Virus Infection/epidemiology
8.
Am J Public Health ; 111(5): 907-916, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1177867

ABSTRACT

Objectives. To assess SARS-CoV-2 transmission within a correctional facility and recommend mitigation strategies.Methods. From April 29 to May 15, 2020, we established the point prevalence of COVID-19 among incarcerated persons and staff within a correctional facility in Arkansas. Participants provided respiratory specimens for SARS-CoV-2 testing and completed questionnaires on symptoms and factors associated with transmission.Results. Of 1647 incarcerated persons and 128 staff tested, 30.5% of incarcerated persons (range by housing unit = 0.0%-58.2%) and 2.3% of staff tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Among those who tested positive and responded to symptom questions (431 incarcerated persons, 3 staff), 81.2% and 33.3% were asymptomatic, respectively. Most incarcerated persons (58.0%) reported wearing cloth face coverings 8 hours or less per day, and 63.3% reported close contact with someone other than their bunkmate.Conclusions. If testing remained limited to symptomatic individuals, fewer cases would have been detected or detection would have been delayed, allowing transmission to continue. Rapid implementation of mass testing and strict enforcement of infection prevention and control measures may be needed to mitigate spread of SARS-CoV-2 in this setting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Correctional Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Arkansas/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Housing/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires
10.
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 22(3): 498-503, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1099168

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Effective halting of outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) depends on the earliest recognition of cases. We assessed confirmed COVID-19 cases at an SNF impacted by COVID-19 in the United States to identify early indications of COVID-19 infection. METHODS: We performed retrospective reviews of electronic health records for residents with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 during February 28-March 16, 2020. Records were abstracted for comorbidities, signs and symptoms, and illness outcomes during the 2 weeks before and after the date of positive specimen collection. Relative risks (RRs) of hospitalization and death were calculated. RESULTS: Of the 118 residents tested among approximately 130 residents from Facility A during February 28-March 16, 2020, 101 (86%) were found to test positive for SARS-CoV-2. At initial presentation, about two-thirds of SARS-CoV-2-positive residents had an abnormal vital sign or change in oxygen status. Most (90.2%) symptomatic residents had elevated temperature, change in mental status, lethargy, change in oxygen status, or cough; 9 (11.0%) did not have fever, cough, or shortness of breath during their clinical course. Those with change in oxygen status had an increased relative risk (RR) of 30-day mortality [51.1% vs 29.7%, RR 1.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.0-3.0]. RR of hospitalization was higher for residents with underlying hepatic disease (1.6, 95% CI 1.1-2.2) or obesity (1.5, 95% CI 1.1-2.1); RR of death was not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Our findings reinforce the critical role that monitoring of signs and symptoms can have in identifying COVID-19 cases early. SNFs should ensure they have a systematic approach for responding to abnormal vital signs and oxygen saturation and consider ensuring common signs and symptoms identified in Facility A are among those they monitor.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Skilled Nursing Facilities , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Male , Medical Records , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , United States
11.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(1): 7-11, 2021 Jan 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1055328

ABSTRACT

To safely resume sports, college and university athletic programs and regional athletic conferences created plans to mitigate transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Mitigation measures included physical distancing, universal masking, and maximizing outdoor activity during training; routine testing; 10-day isolation of persons with COVID-19; and 14-day quarantine of athletes identified as close contacts* of persons with confirmed COVID-19. Regional athletic conferences created testing and quarantine policies based on National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) guidance (1); testing policies varied by conference, school, and sport. To improve compliance with quarantine and reduce the personal and economic burden of quarantine adherence, the quarantine period has been reduced in several countries from 14 days to as few as 5 days with testing (2) or 10 days without testing (3). Data on quarantined athletes participating in NCAA sports were used to characterize COVID-19 exposures and assess the amount of time between quarantine start and first positive SARS-CoV-2 test result. Despite the potential risk for transmission from frequent, close contact associated with athletic activities (4), more athletes reported exposure to COVID-19 at social gatherings (40.7%) and from roommates (31.7%) than they did from exposures associated with athletic activities (12.7%). Among 1,830 quarantined athletes, 458 (25%) received positive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results during the 14-day quarantine, with a mean of 3.8 days from quarantine start (range = 0-14 days) until the positive test result. Among athletes who had not received a positive test result by quarantine day 5, the probability of having a positive test result decreased from 27% after day 5 to <5% after day 10. These findings support new guidance from CDC (5) in which different options are provided to shorten quarantine for persons such as collegiate athletes, especially if doing so will increase compliance, balancing the reduced duration of quarantine against a small but nonzero risk for postquarantine transmission. Improved adherence to mitigation measures (e.g., universal masking, physical distancing, and hand hygiene) at all times could further reduce exposures to SARS-CoV-2 and disruptions to athletic activities because of infections and quarantine (1,6).


Subject(s)
Athletes/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Retrospective Studies , Time Factors , United States/epidemiology , Universities
12.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(3): 100-105, 2021 Jan 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1040195

ABSTRACT

Rapid antigen tests, such as the Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card (BinaxNOW), offer results more rapidly (approximately 15-30 minutes) and at a lower cost than do highly sensitive nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) (1). Rapid antigen tests have received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for use in symptomatic persons (2), but data are lacking on test performance in asymptomatic persons to inform expanded screening testing to rapidly identify and isolate infected persons (3). To evaluate the performance of the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test, it was used along with real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing to analyze 3,419 paired specimens collected from persons aged ≥10 years at two community testing sites in Pima County, Arizona, during November 3-17, 2020. Viral culture was performed on 274 of 303 residual real-time RT-PCR specimens with positive results by either test (29 were not available for culture). Compared with real-time RT-PCR testing, the BinaxNOW antigen test had a sensitivity of 64.2% for specimens from symptomatic persons and 35.8% for specimens from asymptomatic persons, with near 100% specificity in specimens from both groups. Virus was cultured from 96 of 274 (35.0%) specimens, including 85 (57.8%) of 147 with concordant antigen and real-time RT-PCR positive results, 11 (8.9%) of 124 with false-negative antigen test results, and none of three with false-positive antigen test results. Among specimens positive for viral culture, sensitivity was 92.6% for symptomatic and 78.6% for asymptomatic individuals. When the pretest probability for receiving positive test results for SARS-CoV-2 is elevated (e.g., in symptomatic persons or in persons with a known COVID-19 exposure), a negative antigen test result should be confirmed by NAAT (1). Despite a lower sensitivity to detect infection, rapid antigen tests can be an important tool for screening because of their quick turnaround time, lower costs and resource needs, high specificity, and high positive predictive value (PPV) in settings of high pretest probability. The faster turnaround time of the antigen test can help limit transmission by more rapidly identifying infectious persons for isolation, particularly when used as a component of serial testing strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Community Health Services , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Arizona/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Sensitivity and Specificity , Time Factors , Young Adult
13.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(3): 83-87, 2021 Jan 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1040192

ABSTRACT

Case investigation and contact tracing are core public health tools used to interrupt transmission of pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); timeliness is critical to effectiveness (1,2). In May 2020, CDC funded* 64 state, local, and territorial health departments† to support COVID-19 response activities. As part of the monitoring process, case investigation and contact tracing metrics for June 25-July 24, 2020, were submitted to CDC by 62 health departments. Descriptive analyses of case investigation and contact tracing load, timeliness, and yield (i.e., the number of contacts elicited divided by the number of patients prioritized for interview) were performed. A median of 57% of patients were interviewed within 24 hours of report of the case to a health department (interquartile range [IQR] = 27%-82%); a median of 1.15 contacts were identified per patient prioritized for interview§ (IQR = 0.62-1.76), and a median of 55% of contacts were notified within 24 hours of identification by a patient (IQR = 32%-79%). With higher caseloads, the percentage of patients interviewed within 24 hours of case report was lower (Spearman coefficient = -0.68), and the number of contacts identified per patient prioritized for interview also decreased (Spearman coefficient = -0.60). The capacity to conduct timely contact tracing varied among health departments, largely driven by investigators' caseloads. Incomplete identification of contacts affects the ability to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Enhanced staffing capacity and ability and improved community engagement could lead to more timely interviews and identification of more contacts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Contact Tracing , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Public Health Administration , Public Health Practice , United States/epidemiology
14.
Matern Child Health J ; 25(2): 198-206, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1006455

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Public health responses often lack the infrastructure to capture the impact of public health emergencies on pregnant women and infants, with limited mechanisms for linking pregnant women with their infants nationally to monitor long-term effects. In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in close collaboration with state, local, and territorial health departments, began a 5-year initiative to establish population-based mother-baby linked longitudinal surveillance, the Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies Network (SET-NET). OBJECTIVES: The objective of this report is to describe an expanded surveillance approach that leverages and modernizes existing surveillance systems to address the impact of emerging health threats during pregnancy on pregnant women and their infants. METHODS: Mother-baby pairs are identified through prospective identification during pregnancy and/or identification of an infant with retrospective linking to maternal information. All data are obtained from existing data sources (e.g., electronic medical records, vital statistics, laboratory reports, and health department investigations and case reporting). RESULTS: Variables were selected for inclusion to address key surveillance questions proposed by CDC and health department subject matter experts. General variables include maternal demographics and health history, pregnancy and infant outcomes, maternal and infant laboratory results, and child health outcomes up to the second birthday. Exposure-specific modular variables are included for hepatitis C, syphilis, and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The system is structured into four relational datasets (maternal, pregnancy outcomes and birth, infant/child follow-up, and laboratory testing). DISCUSSION: SET-NET provides a population-based mother-baby linked longitudinal surveillance approach and has already demonstrated rapid adaptation to COVID-19. This innovative approach leverages existing data sources and rapidly collects data and informs clinical guidance and practice. These data can help to reduce exposure risk and adverse outcomes among pregnant women and their infants, direct public health action, and strengthen public health systems.


Subject(s)
Civil Defense/methods , Mother-Child Relations , Population Surveillance/methods , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , Civil Defense/instrumentation , Female , Hepatitis C/complications , Hepatitis C/diagnosis , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Mass Screening/methods , Pregnancy , Syphilis/complications , Syphilis/diagnosis
17.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(39): 1398-1403, 2020 Oct 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-809624

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
18.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(38): 1360-1363, 2020 Sep 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-792612

ABSTRACT

Contact tracing is a strategy implemented to minimize the spread of communicable diseases (1,2). Prompt contact tracing, testing, and self-quarantine can reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (3,4). Community engagement is important to encourage participation in and cooperation with SARS-CoV-2 contact tracing (5). Substantial investments have been made to scale up contact tracing for COVID-19 in the United States. During June 1-July 12, 2020, the incidence of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina increased 183%, from seven to 19 per 100,000 persons per day* (6). To assess local COVID-19 contact tracing implementation, data from two counties in North Carolina were analyzed during a period of high incidence. Health department staff members investigated 5,514 (77%) persons with COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County and 584 (99%) in Randolph Counties. No contacts were reported for 48% of cases in Mecklenburg and for 35% in Randolph. Among contacts provided, 25% in Mecklenburg and 48% in Randolph could not be reached by telephone and were classified as nonresponsive after at least one attempt on 3 consecutive days of failed attempts. The median interval from specimen collection from the index patient to notification of identified contacts was 6 days in both counties. Despite aggressive efforts by health department staff members to perform case investigations and contact tracing, many persons with COVID-19 did not report contacts, and many contacts were not reached. These findings indicate that improved timeliness of contact tracing, community engagement, and increased use of community-wide mitigation are needed to interrupt SARS-CoV-2 transmission.


Subject(s)
Contact Tracing/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Humans , Incidence , North Carolina/epidemiology
19.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(33): 1127-1132, 2020 Aug 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-725246

ABSTRACT

The geographic areas in the United States most affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have changed over time. On May 7, 2020, CDC, with other federal agencies, began identifying counties with increasing COVID-19 incidence (hotspots) to better understand transmission dynamics and offer targeted support to health departments in affected communities. Data for January 22-July 15, 2020, were analyzed retrospectively (January 22-May 6) and prospectively (May 7-July 15) to detect hotspot counties. No counties met hotspot criteria during January 22-March 7, 2020. During March 8-July 15, 2020, 818 counties met hotspot criteria for ≥1 day; these counties included 80% of the U.S. population. The daily number of counties meeting hotspot criteria peaked in early April, decreased and stabilized during mid-April-early June, then increased again during late June-early July. The percentage of counties in the South and West Census regions* meeting hotspot criteria increased from 10% and 13%, respectively, during March-April to 28% and 22%, respectively, during June-July. Identification of community transmission as a contributing factor increased over time, whereas identification of outbreaks in long-term care facilities, food processing facilities, correctional facilities, or other workplaces as contributing factors decreased. Identification of hotspot counties and understanding how they change over time can help prioritize and target implementation of U.S. public health response activities.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , Urban Population/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Humans , Incidence , United States/epidemiology
20.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(33): 1122-1126, 2020 Aug 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-725128

ABSTRACT

During January 1, 2020-August 10, 2020, an estimated 5 million cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were reported in the United States.* Published state and national data indicate that persons of color might be more likely to become infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, experience more severe COVID-19-associated illness, including that requiring hospitalization, and have higher risk for death from COVID-19 (1-5). CDC examined county-level disparities in COVID-19 cases among underrepresented racial/ethnic groups in counties identified as hotspots, which are defined using algorithmic thresholds related to the number of new cases and the changes in incidence.† Disparities were defined as difference of ≥5% between the proportion of cases and the proportion of the population or a ratio ≥1.5 for the proportion of cases to the proportion of the population for underrepresented racial/ethnic groups in each county. During June 5-18, 205 counties in 33 states were identified as hotspots; among these counties, race was reported for ≥50% of cumulative cases in 79 (38.5%) counties in 22 states; 96.2% of these counties had disparities in COVID-19 cases in one or more underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. Hispanic/Latino (Hispanic) persons were the largest group by population size (3.5 million persons) living in hotspot counties where a disproportionate number of cases among that group was identified, followed by black/African American (black) persons (2 million), American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) persons (61,000), Asian persons (36,000), and Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander (NHPI) persons (31,000). Examining county-level data disaggregated by race/ethnicity can help identify health disparities in COVID-19 cases and inform strategies for preventing and slowing SARS-CoV-2 transmission. More complete race/ethnicity data are needed to fully inform public health decision-making. Addressing the pandemic's disproportionate incidence of COVID-19 in communities of color can reduce the community-wide impact of COVID-19 and improve health outcomes.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/ethnology , Health Status Disparities , Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology , /statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , United States/epidemiology
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