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1.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(12): 442-448, 2021 03 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1151034

ABSTRACT

School closures affected more than 55 million students across the United States when implemented as a strategy to prevent the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (1). Reopening schools requires balancing the risks for SARS-CoV-2 infection to students and staff members against the benefits of in-person learning (2). During December 3, 2020-January 31, 2021, CDC investigated SARS-CoV-2 transmission in 20 elementary schools (kindergarten through grade 6) that had reopened in Salt Lake County, Utah. The 7-day cumulative number of new COVID-19 cases in Salt Lake County during this time ranged from 290 to 670 cases per 100,000 persons.† Susceptible§ school contacts¶ (students and staff members exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in school) of 51 index patients** (40 students and 11 staff members) were offered SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing. Among 1,041 susceptible school contacts, 735 (70.6%) were tested, and five of 12 cases identified were classified as school-associated; the secondary attack rate among tested susceptible school contacts was 0.7%. Mask use among students was high (86%), and the median distance between students' seats in classrooms was 3 ft. Despite high community incidence and an inability to maintain ≥6 ft of distance between students at all times, SARS-CoV-2 transmission was low in these elementary schools. The results from this investigation add to the increasing evidence that in-person learning can be achieved with minimal SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk when multiple measures to prevent transmission are implemented (3,4).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Schools/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Contact Tracing , Female , Humans , Male , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Physical Distancing , Schools/organization & administration , Utah/epidemiology
2.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(45): 1671-1674, 2020 Nov 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-922981

ABSTRACT

In the United States, outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), were initially reported in densely populated urban areas (1); however, outbreaks have since been reported in rural communities (2,3). Rural residents might be at higher risk for severe COVID-19-associated illness because, on average, they are older, have higher prevalences of underlying medical conditions, and have more limited access to health care services.* In May, after a cluster of seven COVID-19 cases was identified in a rural Ohio Amish community, access to testing was increased. Among 30 additional residents tested by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR; TaqPath COVID-19 Combo Kit),† 23 (77%) received positive test results for SARS-CoV-2. Rapid and sustained transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was associated with multiple social gatherings. Informant interviews revealed that community members were concerned about having to follow critical mitigation strategies, including social distancing§ and mask wearing.¶ To help reduce the ongoing transmission risk in a community, state and county health department staff members and community leaders need to work together to develop, deliver, and promote culturally responsive health education messages to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission and ensure that access to testing services is timely and convenient. Understanding the dynamics of close-knit communities is crucial to reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission.


Subject(s)
Amish/psychology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Rural Population , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Amish/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Child , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Ohio/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , Social Behavior , Young Adult
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