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2.
J Infect Dis ; 225(5): 768-776, 2022 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1722480

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We determined the burden of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in air and on surfaces in rooms of patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and investigated patient characteristics associated with SARS-CoV-2 environmental contamination. METHODS: Nasopharyngeal swabs, surface, and air samples were collected from the rooms of 78 inpatients with COVID-19 at 6 acute care hospitals in Toronto from March to May 2020. Samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid (RNA), cultured to determine potential infectivity, and whole viral genomes were sequenced. Association between patient factors and detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in surface samples were investigated. RESULTS: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA was detected from surfaces (125 of 474 samples; 42 of 78 patients) and air (3 of 146 samples; 3 of 45 patients); 17% (6 of 36) of surface samples from 3 patients yielded viable virus. Viral sequences from nasopharyngeal and surface samples clustered by patient. Multivariable analysis indicated hypoxia at admission, polymerase chain reaction-positive nasopharyngeal swab (cycle threshold of ≤30) on or after surface sampling date, higher Charlson comorbidity score, and shorter time from onset of illness to sampling date were significantly associated with detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in surface samples. CONCLUSIONS: The infrequent recovery of infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus from the environment suggests that the risk to healthcare workers from air and near-patient surfaces in acute care hospital wards is likely limited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nasopharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Canada/epidemiology , Environmental Exposure , Health Personnel , Humans , Inpatients , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
3.
CMAJ Open ; 9(4): E1175-E1180, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575909

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Reliable reports on hand hygiene performance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic are lacking as most hospitals continue to rely on direct observation to measure this quality indicator. Using group electronic hand hygiene monitoring, we sought to assess the impact of COVID-19 on adherence to hand hygiene. METHODS: Across 12 Ontario hospitals (5 university and 7 community teaching hospitals), a group electronic hand hygiene monitoring system was installed before the pandemic to provide continuous measurement of hand hygiene adherence across 978 ward and 367 critical care beds. We performed an interrupted time-series study of institutional hand hygiene adherence in association with a COVID-19 inpatient census and the Ontario daily count of COVID-19 cases during a baseline period (Nov. 1, 2019, to Feb. 29, 2020), the pre-peak period of the first wave of the pandemic (Mar. 1 to Apr. 24, 2020), and the post-peak period of the first wave (Apr. 25 to July 5, 2020). We used a Poisson regression model to assess the association between the hospital COVID-19 census and institutional hand hygiene adherence while adjusting for the correlation within inpatient units. RESULTS: At baseline, the rate of hand hygiene adherence was 46.0% (6 325 401 of 13 750 968 opportunities) and this improved beginning in March 2020 to a daily peak of 79.3% (66 640 of 84 026 opportunities) on Mar. 30, 2020. Each patient admitted with COVID-19 was associated with improved hand hygiene adherence (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 1.0621, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.0619-1.0623). Increasing Ontario daily case count was similarly associated with improved hand hygiene (IRR 1.0026, 95% CI 1.0021-1.0032). After peak COVID-19 community and inpatient numbers, hand hygiene adherence declined and returned to baseline. INTERPRETATION: The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with significant improvement in hand hygiene adherence, measured using a group electronic monitoring system. Future research should seek to determine whether strategies that focus on health care worker perception of personal risk can achieve sustainable improvements in hand hygiene performance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hand Hygiene , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Infection Control/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/virology , Hand Hygiene/methods , Health Impact Assessment , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Public Health Surveillance
4.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 42(11): 1340-1344, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574695

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Widespread testing for severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is necessary to curb the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but testing is undermined when the only option is a nasopharyngeal swab. Self-collected swab techniques can overcome many of the disadvantages of a nasopharyngeal swab, but they require evaluation. METHODS: Three self-collected non-nasopharyngeal swab techniques (saline gargle, oral swab and combined oral-anterior nasal swab) were compared to a nasopharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2 detection at multiple COVID-19 assessment centers in Toronto, Canada. The performance characteristics of each test were assessed. RESULTS: The adjusted sensitivity of the saline gargle was 0.90 (95% CI 0.86-0.94), the oral swab was 0.82 (95% CI, 0.72-0.89) and the combined oral-anterior nasal swab was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.77-0.93) compared to a nasopharyngeal swab, which demonstrated a sensitivity of ˜90% when all positive tests were the reference standard. The median cycle threshold values for the SARS-CoV-2 E-gene for concordant and discordant saline gargle specimens were 17 and 31 (P < .001), for the oral swabs these values were 17 and 28 (P < .001), and for oral-anterior nasal swabs these values were 18 and 31 (P = .007). CONCLUSIONS: Self-collected saline gargle and an oral-anterior nasal swab have a similar sensitivity to a nasopharyngeal swab for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. These alternative collection techniques are cheap and can eliminate barriers to testing, particularly in underserved populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Outpatients , Humans , Nasopharynx , SARS-CoV-2 , Saliva , Specimen Handling
6.
Open forum infectious diseases ; 8(Suppl 1):S311-S312, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1565005

ABSTRACT

Background Hand hygiene (HH) is a standard infection prevention and control precaution to be applied in healthcare settings to prevent transmission of COVID-19. Many healthcare institutions observed significant improvements in HH performance during wave one of the COVID-19 pandemic but the sustainability of this change is unknown. Our aim was to evaluate long-term HH performance throughout subsequent waves of the pandemic across acute care hospitals in Ontario, Canada. Methods HH adherence was measured using a previously validated group electronic monitoring system which was installed on all alcohol handrub and sink soap dispensers inside and outside each patient room across 56 inpatient units (35 wards and 21 critical care units) spanning 13 acute care hospitals (6 university and 7 community teaching hospitals) from 1 November 2019 to 31 May 2021. Daily HH adherence was compared with daily COVID-19 case count across Ontario. During this period, weekly performance continued to be reported to units but unit-based quality improvement discussions were inconsistent due to the COVID-19 response. Results Figure 1 depicts daily aggregate HH adherence plotted against the new daily COVID-19 case count across Ontario. An elevation in HH adherence was seen prior to the start of the first wave, rising almost to 80% and then remained above 70% for the peak of wave one. During waves two and three, peak COVID-19 case counts were associated with a maximum HH adherence of 51%, only marginally above the pre-pandemic baseline. After the end of wave one (from 1 July 2020 to 31 May 2021) the median HH performance was only 49% (interquartile range 47%-50%). Figure 1. Hand hygiene adherence across 13 acute care hospitals in comparison to overall new daily COVID-19 cases in Ontario Conclusion Initial improvements in HH adherence preceding the start of the COVID-19 pandemic were not sustained, possibly due to increasing comfort and reduced anxiety associated with providing care to COVID-19 patients leading to a perception of reduced COVID-19 transmission risk. These findings highlight the need for HH monitoring to be tied to longitudinal unit-led quality improvement in order to achieve durable changes in practice. Disclosures Susy S. Hota, MSc MD FRCPC, Finch Therapeutics (Research Grant or Support) Susy S. Hota, MSc MD FRCPC, Finch Therapeutics (Individual(s) Involved: Self): Grant/Research Support

7.
J Infect Dis ; 225(5): 768-776, 2022 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545982

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We determined the burden of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in air and on surfaces in rooms of patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and investigated patient characteristics associated with SARS-CoV-2 environmental contamination. METHODS: Nasopharyngeal swabs, surface, and air samples were collected from the rooms of 78 inpatients with COVID-19 at 6 acute care hospitals in Toronto from March to May 2020. Samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid (RNA), cultured to determine potential infectivity, and whole viral genomes were sequenced. Association between patient factors and detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in surface samples were investigated. RESULTS: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA was detected from surfaces (125 of 474 samples; 42 of 78 patients) and air (3 of 146 samples; 3 of 45 patients); 17% (6 of 36) of surface samples from 3 patients yielded viable virus. Viral sequences from nasopharyngeal and surface samples clustered by patient. Multivariable analysis indicated hypoxia at admission, polymerase chain reaction-positive nasopharyngeal swab (cycle threshold of ≤30) on or after surface sampling date, higher Charlson comorbidity score, and shorter time from onset of illness to sampling date were significantly associated with detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in surface samples. CONCLUSIONS: The infrequent recovery of infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus from the environment suggests that the risk to healthcare workers from air and near-patient surfaces in acute care hospital wards is likely limited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nasopharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Canada/epidemiology , Environmental Exposure , Health Personnel , Humans , Inpatients , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
8.
CMAJ Open ; 9(4): E929-E939, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468744

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Health care workers have a critical role in the pandemic response to COVID-19 and may be at increased risk of infection. The objective of this study was to assess the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies among health care workers during and after the first wave of the pandemic. METHODS: We conducted a prospective multicentre cohort study involving health care workers in Ontario, Canada, to detect IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Blood samples and self-reported questionnaires were obtained at enrolment, at 6 weeks and at 12 weeks. A community hospital, tertiary care pediatric hospital and a combined adult-pediatric academic health centre enrolled participants from Apr. 1 to Nov. 13, 2020. Predictors of seropositivity were evaluated using a multivariable logistic regression, adjusted for clustering by hospital site. RESULTS: Among the 1062 health care workers participating, the median age was 40 years, and 834 (78.5%) were female. Overall, 57 (5.4%) were seropositive at any time point (2.5% when participants with prior infection confirmed by polymerase chain reaction testing were excluded). Seroprevalence was higher among those who had a known unprotected exposure to a patient with COVID-19 (p < 0.001) and those who had been contacted by public health because of a nonhospital exposure (p = 0.003). Providing direct care to patients with COVID-19 or working on a unit with a COVID-19 outbreak was not associated with higher seroprevalence. In multivariable logistic regression, presence of symptomatic contacts in the household was the strongest predictor of seropositivity (adjusted odds ratio 7.15, 95% confidence interval 5.42-9.41). INTERPRETATION: Health care workers exposed to household risk factors were more likely to be seropositive than those not exposed, highlighting the need to emphasize the importance of public health measures both inside and outside of the hospital.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Occupational Exposure/statistics & numerical data , Ontario/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Tertiary Care Centers
10.
J Clin Virol ; 141: 104896, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1267740

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Point-of-care tests (POCT) are promising tools to detect SARS-CoV-2 in specific settings. Initial reports suggest the ID NOW™ COVID-19 assay (Abbott Diagnostics Inc, USA) is less sensitive than standard real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) assays. This has raised concern over false negatives in SARS-CoV-2 POCT. OBJECTIVES: We compared the performance of the ID NOW™ COVID-19 assay to our in-house rRT-PCR assay to assess whether dry swabs used in ID NOW™ testing could be stored in transport media and be re-tested by rRT-PCR for redundancy and to provide material for further investigation. METHODS: Paired respiratory swabs collected from patients at three acute care hospitals were used. One swab in transport media (McMaster Molecular Media (MMM)) was tested for SARS-CoV-2 by a laboratory-developed two-target rRT-PCR assay. The second was stored dry in a sterile container and tested by the ID NOW™ COVID-19 assay. Following ID NOW™ testing, dry swabs were stored in MMM for up to 48 h and re-tested by rRT-PCR. Serially diluted SARS-CoV-2 particles were used to assess the impact of heat inactivation and storage time. RESULTS: Respiratory swabs (n = 343) from 179 individuals were included. Using rRT-PCR results as the comparator, the ID NOW™ COVID-19 assay had positive (PPA) and negative (NPA) percent agreements of 87.0% (95% CI:0.74-0.94) and 99.7% (95% CI:0.98-0.99). Re-tested swabs placed in MMM following ID NOW testing had PPA and NPA of 88.8% (95% CI:0.76-0.95) and 99.7% (95% CI:0.98-0.99), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Storing spent dry swabs in transport media for redundancy rRT-PCR testing is a potential approach to address possible false negatives with the ID NOW™ COVID-19 assay.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Point-of-Care Testing , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling
12.
Curr Oncol ; 28(1): 278-282, 2021 01 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011431

ABSTRACT

Patients with cancer are more vulnerable to severe COVID-19. As a result, routine SARS-CoV-2 testing of asymptomatic patients with cancer is recommended prior to treatment. However, there is limited evidence of its clinical usefulness. The objective of this study is to evaluate the value of routine testing of asymptomatic patients with cancer. Asymptomatic patients with cancer attending Odette Cancer Centre (Toronto, ON, Canada) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 prior to and during treatment cycles. Results were compared to positivity rates of SARS-CoV-2 locally and provincially. All 890 asymptomatic patients tested negative. Positivity rates in the province were 1.5%, in hospital were 1.0%, and among OCC's symptomatic cancer patients were 0% over the study period. Given our findings and the low SARS-CoV-2 community positivity rates, we recommend a dynamic testing model of asymptomatic patients that triggers testing during increasing community positivity rates of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Neoplasms/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cancer Care Facilities , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Ontario
13.
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 22(2): 253-255.e1, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1002690

ABSTRACT

Long-term care facilities (LTCFs), retirement homes (RHs), and other congregate care settings in Canada and worldwide have experienced significant COVID-19 outbreaks. As a health system response, our acute care hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, developed and mobilized an onsite Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) SWAT team (IPAC-SWAT) to regional settings on outbreak and implemented a strategy of support through education, training, and engagement. Between April 28, 2020, and June 30, 2020, IPAC-SWAT assessed 7 LTCFs and 10 RHs for IPAC preparedness and actively managed 10 of 13 COVID-19 outbreaks (LTCF n=5; RH n=5). IPAC-SWAT strategies were multi-interventional and intended to mitigate further viral transmission or prevent outbreaks. Dedicated training of local "IPAC champions" was facilitated at 7 sites (LTCF = 5; RH = 2) using a "train-the-trainer" approach to promote local knowledge, autonomy, and site-led audits and feedback.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Homes for the Aged/organization & administration , Infection Control/organization & administration , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , Organizational Innovation , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Ontario/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Birth ; 48(1): 96-103, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-953804

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: It has been suggested that women admitted for delivery should have universal PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2. Yet, the considerable difference in the incidence of COVID-19 between different geographic regions may affect screening strategies. Therefore, we aimed to compare questionnaire-based testing versus universal PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2 in women admitted for delivery. METHODS: A prospective cohort study of women admitted for delivery at a single center during a four-week period (April 22-May 25, 2020). All women completed a questionnaire about COVID-19 signs, symptoms, or risk factors, and a nasopharyngeal swab for PCR for SARS-CoV-2. Women who were flagged as suspected COVID-19 by the questionnaire (questionnaire-positive) were compared with women who were not flagged by the questionnaire (questionnaire-negative). RESULTS: Overall, 446 women were eligible for analysis, of which 54 (12.1%) were questionnaire-positive. PCR swab detected SARS-CoV-2 in four (0.9%) women: 3 of 392 (0.8%) in the questionnaire-negative group, and 1 of 54 (1.9%) in the questionnaire-positive group (P = .43), yielding a number needed to screen of 92 (95% CI 62-177). In 96% of the cases, the PCR results were obtained only in the postpartum period. No positive PCR results were obtained from neonatal testing for SARS-CoV-2. The sensitivity of the questionnaire was 75.0%, and the negative predictive value was 99.7%. CONCLUSIONS: Although the rate of positive PCR results was not significantly different between the groups, the number needed to screen is considerably high. The use of questionnaire-based PCR testing in areas with low incidence of COVID-19 allows for a reasonable allocation of resources and is easy to implement.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , Carrier State/diagnosis , Mass Screening/methods , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Carrier State/epidemiology , Delivery, Obstetric , Female , Humans , Labor, Obstetric , Nasopharynx/virology , Ontario/epidemiology , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Predictive Value of Tests , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/physiopathology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Viruses ; 12(11)2020 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-927860

ABSTRACT

Widely available and easily accessible testing for COVID-19 is a cornerstone of pandemic containment strategies. Nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) are the currently accepted standard for sample collection but are limited by their need for collection devices and sampling by trained healthcare professionals. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of saliva to NPS in an outpatient setting. This was a prospective study conducted at three centers, which compared the performance of saliva and NPS samples collected at the time of assessment center visit. Samples were tested by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and sensitivity and overall agreement determined between saliva and NPS. Clinical data was abstracted by chart review for select study participants. Of the 432 paired samples, 46 were positive for SARS-CoV-2, with seven discordant observed between the two sample types (four individuals testing positive only by NPS and three by saliva only). The observed agreement was 98.4% (kappa coefficient 0.91) and a composite reference standard demonstrated sensitivity of 0.91 and 0.93 for saliva and NPS samples, respectively. On average, the Ct values obtained from saliva as compared to NPS were higher by 2.76. This study demonstrates that saliva performs comparably to NPS for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. Saliva was simple to collect, did not require transport media, and could be tested with equipment readily available at most laboratories. The use of saliva as an acceptable alternative to NPS could support the use of widespread surveillance testing for SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Nasopharynx/virology , Outpatients/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Saliva/virology , Adult , Female , Humans , Limit of Detection , Male , Middle Aged , Ontario , Prospective Studies , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling
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