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Clin Infect Dis ; 73(6): e1329-e1336, 2021 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1411883


BACKGROUND: Healthcare personnel (HCP) are at increased risk of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We posit that current infection control guidelines generally protect HCP from SARS-CoV-2 infection in a healthcare setting. METHODS: In this retrospective case series, we used viral genomics to investigate the likely source of SARS-CoV-2 infection in HCP at a major academic medical institution in the Upper Midwest of the United States between 25 March and 27 December 2020. We obtained limited epidemiological data through informal interviews and review of the electronic health record and combined this information with healthcare-associated viral sequences and viral sequences collected in the broader community to infer the most likely source of infection in HCP. RESULTS: We investigated SARS-CoV-2 infection clusters involving 95 HCP and 137 possible patient contact sequences. The majority of HCP infections could not be linked to a patient or coworker (55 of 95 [57.9%]) and were genetically similar to viruses circulating concurrently in the community. We found that 10.5% of HCP infections (10 of 95) could be traced to a coworker. Strikingly, only 4.2% (4 of 95) could be traced to a patient source. CONCLUSIONS: Infections among HCP add further strain to the healthcare system and put patients, HCP, and communities at risk. We found no evidence for healthcare-associated transmission in the majority of HCP infections evaluated. Although we cannot rule out the possibility of cryptic healthcare-associated transmission, it appears that HCP most commonly become infected with SARS-CoV-2 via community exposure. This emphasizes the ongoing importance of mask wearing, physical distancing, robust testing programs, and rapid distribution of vaccines.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Delivery of Health Care , Health Personnel , Humans , Retrospective Studies , United States/epidemiology
Mayo Clin Proc ; 96(9): 2312-2322, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294050


OBJECTIVE: To identify significant factors that help predict whether health care personnel (HCP) will test positive for severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study among 7015 symptomatic HCP from March 25, 2020, through November 11, 2020. We analyzed the associations between health care role, contact history, symptoms, and a positive nasopharyngeal swab SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction test results, using univariate and multivariable modelling. RESULTS: Of the symptomatic HCP, 624 (8.9%) were positive over the study period. On multivariable analysis, having a health care role other than physician or advanced practice provider, contact with family or community member with known or suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and seven individual symptoms (cough, anosmia, ageusia, fever, myalgia, chills, and headache) were significantly associated with higher adjusted odds ratios for testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. For each increase in symptom number, the odds of testing positive nearly doubled (odds ratio, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.82 to 2.07, P<.001). CONCLUSION: Symptomatic HCP have higher adjusted odds of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 based on three distinct factors: (1) nonphysician/advanced practice provider role, (2) contact with a family or community member with suspected or known COVID-19, and (3) specific symptoms and symptom number. Differences among health care roles, which persisted after controlling for contacts, may reflect the influence of social determinants. Contacts with COVID-19-positive patients and/or HCP were not associated with higher odds of testing positive, supporting current infection control efforts. Targeted symptom and contact questionnaires may streamline symptomatic HCP testing for COVID-19.

Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Prospective Studies
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 7(9): ofaa388, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-732058


BACKGROUND: Multiple factors have led to an extremely high volume of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing. Concerns exist about sensitivity and false-negative SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR testing results. We describe a retrospective observational study examining the utility of repeat nasopharyngeal (NP) SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR testing at an academic center in a low-prevalence setting. METHODS: All patients within our health system with >1 NP SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test result were included. SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR testing was performed according to 1 of 4 validated assays. Key clinical and demographic data were collected, including whether the patient was inpatient or outpatient at time of the test and whether the test was performed as part of a person under investigation (PUI) for possible coronavirus disease 2019 or for asymptomatic screening. RESULTS: A total of 660 patients had >1 NP SARS-CoV-2 PCR test performed. The initial test was negative in 638. There were only 6 negative-to-positive conversions (0.9%). All 6 were outpatients undergoing a PUI workup 5-17 days after an initial negative result. In >260 inpatients with repeat testing, we found no instances of negative-to-positive conversion including those undergoing PUI or asymptomatic evaluation. CONCLUSIONS: In a low-prevalence area, repeat inpatient testing after an initial negative result, using a highly analytically sensitive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR, failed to demonstrate negative-to-positive conversion. The clinical sensitivity of NP RT-PCR testing may be higher than previously believed. These results have helped shape diagnostic stewardship guidelines, in particular guidance to decrease repeated testing in the inpatient setting to optimize test utilization and preserve resources.