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1.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 71(33): 1057-1064, 2022 Aug 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1994637

ABSTRACT

As SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, continues to circulate globally, high levels of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity and the availability of effective treatments and prevention tools have substantially reduced the risk for medically significant COVID-19 illness (severe acute illness and post-COVID-19 conditions) and associated hospitalization and death (1). These circumstances now allow public health efforts to minimize the individual and societal health impacts of COVID-19 by focusing on sustainable measures to further reduce medically significant illness as well as to minimize strain on the health care system, while reducing barriers to social, educational, and economic activity (2). Individual risk for medically significant COVID-19 depends on a person's risk for exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and their risk for developing severe illness if infected (3). Exposure risk can be mitigated through nonpharmaceutical interventions, including improving ventilation, use of masks or respirators indoors, and testing (4). The risk for medically significant illness increases with age, disability status, and underlying medical conditions but is considerably reduced by immunity derived from vaccination, previous infection, or both, as well as timely access to effective biomedical prevention measures and treatments (3,5). CDC's public health recommendations change in response to evolving science, the availability of biomedical and public health tools, and changes in context, such as levels of immunity in the population and currently circulating variants. CDC recommends a strategic approach to minimizing the impact of COVID-19 on health and society that relies on vaccination and therapeutics to prevent severe illness; use of multicomponent prevention measures where feasible; and particular emphasis on protecting persons at high risk for severe illness. Efforts to expand access to vaccination and therapeutics, including the use of preexposure prophylaxis for persons who are immunocompromised, antiviral agents, and therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, should be intensified to reduce the risk for medically significant illness and death. Efforts to protect persons at high risk for severe illness must ensure that all persons have access to information to understand their individual risk, as well as efficient and equitable access to vaccination, therapeutics, testing, and other prevention measures. Current priorities for preventing medically significant illness should focus on ensuring that persons 1) understand their risk, 2) take steps to protect themselves and others through vaccines, therapeutics, and nonpharmaceutical interventions when needed, 3) receive testing and wear masks if they have been exposed, and 4) receive testing if they are symptomatic, and isolate for ≥5 days if they are infected.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antiviral Agents , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology , Vaccination
4.
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
5.
Prev Chronic Dis ; 18: E55, 2021 06 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256965

ABSTRACT

The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 and associated disparities among Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, and non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native children and teenagers has been documented. Reducing these disparities along with overcoming unintended negative consequences of the pandemic, such as the disruption of in-person schooling, calls for broad community-based collaborations and nuanced approaches. Based on national survey data, children from some racial and ethnic minority groups have a higher prevalence of obesity, asthma, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension; were diagnosed more frequently with COVID-19; and had more severe outcomes compared with their non-Hispanic White (NHW) counterparts. Furthermore, a higher proportion of children from some racial and ethnic minority groups lived in families with incomes less than 200% of the federal poverty level or in households lacking secure employment compared with NHW children. Children from some racial and ethnic minority groups were also more likely to attend school via online learning compared with NHW counterparts. Because the root causes of these disparities are complex and multifactorial, an organized community-based approach is needed to achieve greater proactive and sustained collaborations between local health departments, local school systems, and other public and private organizations to pursue health equity. This article provides a summary of potential community-based health promotion strategies to address racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 outcomes and educational inequities among children and teens, specifically in the implementation of strategic partnerships, including initial collective work, outcomes-based activities, and communication. These collaborations can facilitate policy, systems, and environmental changes in school systems that support emergency preparedness, recovery, and resilience when faced with public health crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/ethnology , Community Health Services/organization & administration , Health Status Disparities , Social Determinants of Health , Adolescent , African Americans/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Chronic Disease/ethnology , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools
6.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(13): 483-489, 2021 Apr 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1168278

ABSTRACT

Long-standing systemic social, economic, and environmental inequities in the United States have put many communities of color (racial and ethnic minority groups) at increased risk for exposure to and infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as well as more severe COVID-19-related outcomes (1-3). Because race and ethnicity are missing for a proportion of reported COVID-19 cases, counties with substantial missing information often are excluded from analyses of disparities (4). Thus, as a complement to these case-based analyses, population-based studies can help direct public health interventions. Using data from the 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC), CDC identified counties where five racial and ethnic minority groups (Hispanic or Latino [Hispanic], non-Hispanic Black or African American [Black], non-Hispanic Asian [Asian], non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native [AI/AN], and non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander [NH/PI]) might have experienced high COVID-19 impact during April 1-December 22, 2020. These counties had high 2-week COVID-19 incidences (>100 new cases per 100,000 persons in the total population) and percentages of persons in five racial and ethnic groups that were larger than the national percentages (denoted as "large"). During April 1-14, a total of 359 (11.4%) of 3,142 U.S. counties reported high COVID-19 incidence, including 28.7% of counties with large percentages of Asian persons and 27.9% of counties with large percentages of Black persons. During August 5-18, high COVID-19 incidence was reported by 2,034 (64.7%) counties, including 92.4% of counties with large percentages of Black persons and 74.5% of counties with large percentages of Hispanic persons. During December 9-22, high COVID-19 incidence was reported by 3,114 (99.1%) counties, including >95% of those with large percentages of persons in each of the five racial and ethnic minority groups. The findings of this population-based analysis complement those of case-based analyses. In jurisdictions with substantial missing race and ethnicity information, this method could be applied to smaller geographic areas, to identify communities of color that might be experiencing high potential COVID-19 impact. As areas with high rates of new infection change over time, public health efforts can be tailored to the needs of communities of color as the pandemic evolves and integrated with longer-term plans to improve health equity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , /statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/ethnology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Incidence , Risk Assessment , United States/epidemiology
7.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(42): 1535-1541, 2020 Oct 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-890753

ABSTRACT

Poverty, crowded housing, and other community attributes associated with social vulnerability increase a community's risk for adverse health outcomes during and following a public health event (1). CDC uses standard criteria to identify U.S. counties with rapidly increasing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) incidence (hotspot counties) to support health departments in coordinating public health responses (2). County-level data on COVID-19 cases during June 1-July 25, 2020 and from the 2018 CDC social vulnerability index (SVI) were analyzed to examine associations between social vulnerability and hotspot detection and to describe incidence after hotspot detection. Areas with greater social vulnerabilities, particularly those related to higher representation of racial and ethnic minority residents (risk ratio [RR] = 5.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.4-6.4), density of housing units per structure (RR = 3.1; 95% CI = 2.7-3.6), and crowded housing units (i.e., more persons than rooms) (RR = 2.0; 95% CI = 1.8-2.3), were more likely to become hotspots, especially in less urban areas. Among hotspot counties, those with greater social vulnerability had higher COVID-19 incidence during the 14 days after detection (212-234 cases per 100,000 persons for highest SVI quartile versus 35-131 cases per 100,000 persons for other quartiles). Focused public health action at the federal, state, and local levels is needed not only to prevent communities with greater social vulnerability from becoming hotspots but also to decrease persistently high incidence among hotspot counties that are socially vulnerable.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Residence Characteristics/statistics & numerical data , Social Determinants of Health , COVID-19 , Crowding , Humans , Incidence , Pandemics , Poverty , Risk Assessment , United States/epidemiology
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