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2.
Public Health Rep ; : 333549221086514, 2022 Apr 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784976

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: SARS-CoV-2 testing is a critical component of preventing the spread of COVID-19. In the United States, people experiencing homelessness (PEH) have accessed testing at health clinics, such as those provided through Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) clinics or through community-based testing events at homeless service sites or encampments. We describe data on SARS-CoV-2 testing among PEH in US clinic- and community-based settings from March through November 2020. METHODS: We conducted a descriptive analysis of data from HCH clinics and community testing events. We used a standardized survey to request data from HCH clinics. We developed and made publicly available an online data entry portal to collect data from community-based organizations that provided testing for PEH. We assessed positivity rates across clinics and community service sites serving PEH and used generalized linear mixed models to account for clustering. RESULTS: Thirty-seven HCH clinics reported providing 280 410 tests; 3.2% (n = 8880) had positive results (range, 1.6%-4.9%). By race, positivity rates were highest among people who identified as >1 race (11.6%; P < .001). During the reporting period, 22 states reported 287 community testing events and 14 116 tests; 7.1% (n = 1004) had positive results. Among facility types, day shelters (380 of 2697; 14.1%) and inpatient drug/alcohol rehabilitation facilities (32 of 251; 12.7%) reported the highest positivity rates. CONCLUSIONS: While HCH clinic data provided results for a larger number of patients, community-based testing data showed higher positivity rates. Clinic data demonstrated racial disparities in positivity. Community-based testing data provided information about SARS-CoV-2 transmission settings. Although these data provide information about testing, standard surveillance systems are needed to better understand the incidence of disease among PEH.

3.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(1): e2143407, 2022 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1620077

ABSTRACT

Importance: People experiencing incarceration (PEI) and people experiencing homelessness (PEH) have an increased risk of COVID-19 exposure from congregate living, but data on their hospitalization course compared with that of the general population are limited. Objective: To compare COVID-19 hospitalizations for PEI and PEH with hospitalizations among the general population. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional analysis used data from the Premier Healthcare Database on 3415 PEI and 9434 PEH who were evaluated in the emergency department or were hospitalized in more than 800 US hospitals for COVID-19 from April 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021. Exposures: Incarceration or homelessness. Main Outcomes and Measures: Hospitalization proportions were calculated. and outcomes (intensive care unit admission, invasive mechanical ventilation [IMV], mortality, length of stay, and readmissions) among PEI and PEH were compared with outcomes for all patients with COVID-19 (not PEI or PEH). Multivariable regression was used to adjust for potential confounders. Results: In total, 3415 PEI (2952 men [86.4%]; mean [SD] age, 50.8 [15.7] years) and 9434 PEH (6776 men [71.8%]; mean [SD] age, 50.1 [14.5] years) were evaluated in the emergency department for COVID-19 and were hospitalized more often (2170 of 3415 [63.5%] PEI; 6088 of 9434 [64.5%] PEH) than the general population (624 470 of 1 257 250 [49.7%]) (P < .001). Both PEI and PEH hospitalized for COVID-19 were more likely to be younger, male, and non-Hispanic Black than the general population. Hospitalized PEI had a higher frequency of IMV (410 [18.9%]; adjusted risk ratio [aRR], 1.16; 95% CI, 1.04-1.30) and mortality (308 [14.2%]; aRR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.11-1.47) than the general population (IMV, 88 897 [14.2%]; mortality, 84 725 [13.6%]). Hospitalized PEH had a lower frequency of IMV (606 [10.0%]; aRR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.58-0.70) and mortality (330 [5.4%]; aRR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.47-0.59) than the general population. Both PEI and PEH had longer mean (SD) lengths of stay (PEI, 9 [10] days; PEH, 11 [26] days) and a higher frequency of readmission (PEI, 128 [5.9%]; PEH, 519 [8.5%]) than the general population (mean [SD] length of stay, 8 [10] days; readmission, 28 493 [4.6%]). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cross-sectional study, a higher frequency of COVID-19 hospitalizations for PEI and PEH underscored the importance of adhering to recommended prevention measures. Expanding medical respite may reduce hospitalizations in these disproportionately affected populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Homeless Persons/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Databases, Factual , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296570

ABSTRACT

On Saturday, July 3, 2021, the Sonoma County Health Department was alerted to three cases of COVID-19 among residents of a homeless shelter in Santa Rosa, California. Among 153 shelter residents, 83 (54%) were fully vaccinated;71 (86%) vaccinated residents had received the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and 12 (14%) received an mRNA (Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna) COVID-19 vaccine. Within 1 month, 116 shelter residents (76%) received positive SARS-CoV-2 test results, including 66 (80%) of 83 fully vaccinated residents and 50 (71%) of 70 residents who were not fully vaccinated. Nine (14%) of 66 fully vaccinated cases, compared with 1 of 50 (2%) of unvaccinated cases, were hospitalized with COVID-19. All hospitalized cases had at least one underlying medical condition. Two deaths occurred, one in a vaccinated resident and one in a resident who was not fully vaccinated. Specimens from 52 residents underwent whole genome sequencing;all were identified as SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) AY.13, a sublineage of the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant. These findings suggest that comprehensive measures including routine testing, individual quarantine, mask wearing, and physical distancing are needed in addition to vaccination in homeless shelters and other similar congregate settings, particularly those with residents who are at high risk for severe COVID-19.

5.
Vaccine ; 40(1): 122-132, 2022 01 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550126

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Little is known about COVID-19 vaccination intent among people experiencing homelessness. This study assesses surveyed COVID-19 vaccination intent among adult homeless shelter residents and staff and identifies factors associated with vaccine deliberation (responded "undecided") and reluctance (responded "no"), including time trends. METHODS: From 11/1/2020-2/28/21, we conducted repeated cross-sectional surveys at nine shelters in King County, WA as part of ongoing community-based SARS-CoV-2 surveillance. We used a multinomial model to identify characteristics associated with vaccine deliberation and reluctance. RESULTS: A total of 969 unique staff (n = 297) and residents (n = 672) participated and provided 3966 survey responses. Among residents, 53.7% (n = 361) were vaccine accepting, 28.1% reluctant, 17.6% deliberative, and 0.6% already vaccinated, whereas among staff 56.2% were vaccine accepting, 14.1% were reluctant, 16.5% were deliberative, and 13.1% already vaccinated at their last survey. We observed higher odds of vaccine deliberation or reluctance among Black/African American individuals, those who did not receive a seasonal influenza vaccine, and those with lower educational attainment. There was no significant trend towards vaccine acceptance. CONCLUSIONS: Strong disparities in vaccine intent based on race, education, and prior vaccine history were observed. Increased vaccine intent over the study period was not detected. An intersectional, person-centered approach to addressing health inequities by public health authorities planning vaccination campaigns in shelters is recommended. Clinical Trial Registry Number: NCT04141917.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Homeless Persons , Adult , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Washington
7.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e2978-e2984, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500992

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to reported coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreaks among people experiencing homelessness (PEH) in other US cities, we conducted multiple, proactive, facility-wide testing events for PEH living sheltered and unsheltered and homelessness service staff in Atlanta, Georgia. We describe the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) prevalence and associated symptoms, and review shelter infection prevention and control (IPC) policies. METHODS: PEH and staff were tested for SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) during 7 April-6 May 2020. A subset of PEH and staff was screened for symptoms. Shelter assessments were conducted concurrently at a convenience sample of shelters using a standardized questionnaire. RESULTS: Overall, 2875 individuals at 24 shelters and 9 unsheltered outreach events underwent SARS-CoV-2 testing, and 2860 (99.5%) had conclusive test results. The SARS-CoV-2 prevalences were 2.1% (36/1684) among PEH living sheltered, 0.5% (3/628) among PEH living unsheltered, and 1.3% (7/548) among staff. Reporting fever, cough, or shortness of breath in the last week during symptom screening was 14% sensitive and 89% specific for identifying COVID-19 cases, compared with RT-PCR. Prevalences by shelter ranged 0-27.6%. Repeat testing 3-4 weeks later at 4 shelters documented decreased SARS-CoV-2 prevalences (0-3.9%). Of 24 shelters, 9 completed shelter assessments and implemented IPC measures as part of the COVID-19 response. CONCLUSIONS: PEH living in shelters experienced a higher SARS-CoV-2 prevalence compared with PEH living unsheltered. Facility-wide testing in congregate settings allowed for the identification and isolation of COVID-19 cases, and is an important strategy to interrupt SARS-CoV-2 transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Homeless Persons , COVID-19 Testing , Georgia/epidemiology , Humans , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2
8.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0253108, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496434

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To describe the work environment and COVID-19 mitigation measures for homeless shelter workers and assess occupational risk factors for COVID-19. METHODS: Between June 9-August 10, 2020, we conducted a self-administered survey among homeless shelter workers in Washington, Massachusetts, Utah, Maryland, and Georgia. We calculated frequencies for work environment, personal protective equipment use, and SARS-CoV-2 testing history. We used generalized linear models to produce unadjusted prevalence ratios (PR) to assess risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection. RESULTS: Of the 106 respondents, 43.4% reported frequent close contact with clients; 75% were worried about work-related SARS-CoV-2 infections; 15% reported testing positive. Close contact with clients was associated with testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 (PR 3.97, 95%CI 1.06, 14.93). CONCLUSIONS: Homeless shelter workers may be at risk of being exposed to individuals with COVID-19 during the course of their work. Frequent close contact with clients was associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Protecting these critical essential workers by implementing mitigation measures and prioritizing for COVID-19 vaccination is imperative during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Aged , Cell Movement/physiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Occupational Exposure/adverse effects , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Young Adult
9.
Health Promot Pract ; 23(1): 35-41, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480392

ABSTRACT

Understanding COVID-19 vaccine acceptability among clients and staff of homeless shelters can inform public health efforts focused on communicating with and educating this population about COVID-19 vaccines and thus improve vaccine uptake. The objective of this study was to assess COVID-19 vaccine acceptability and uptake among people in homeless shelters in Detroit, Michigan. A cross-sectional study was conducted from February 9 to 23, 2021. Seventeen homeless shelters were surveyed: seven male-only, three male/female, and seven women and family shelters. All clients and staff aged ≥18 years and able to complete a verbal survey in English or with a translator were eligible to participate; of the 168 individuals approached, 26 declined, leaving a total sample of 106 clients and 36 staff participating in the study. The median client and staff ages were 44 and 54 years, respectively. Most participants (>80%) identified as non-Hispanic Black or African American. Sixty-one (57.5%) clients and 27 (75.5%) staff had already received or planned to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Twelve (11.3%) clients and four (11.1%) staff were unsure, and 33 (31.1%) clients and five (13.9%) staff did not plan to get vaccinated. Reasons for hesitancy were concerns over side effects (29 clients [64.4%] and seven staff [77.8%]) and unknown long-term health impacts (26 clients [57.8%] and six staff [66.7%]). More than half of the clients had already received or planned to receive the vaccine. Continuing efforts such as vaccine education for hesitant clients and staff and having accessible vaccine events for this population may improve acceptability and uptake.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Homeless Persons , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Michigan , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
10.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(17): 521-522, 2020 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389843

ABSTRACT

In the United States, approximately 1.4 million persons access emergency shelter or transitional housing each year (1). These settings can pose risks for communicable disease spread. In late March and early April 2020, public health teams responded to clusters (two or more cases in the preceding 2 weeks) of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in residents and staff members from five homeless shelters in Boston, Massachusetts (one shelter); San Francisco, California (one); and Seattle, Washington (three). The investigations were performed in coordination with academic partners, health care providers, and homeless service providers. Investigations included reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing at commercial and public health laboratories for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, over approximately 1-2 weeks for residents and staff members at the five shelters. During the same period, the team in Seattle, Washington, also tested residents and staff members at 12 shelters where a single case in each had been identified. In Atlanta, Georgia, a team proactively tested residents and staff members at two shelters with no known COVID-19 cases in the preceding 2 weeks. In each city, the objective was to test all shelter residents and staff members at each assessed facility, irrespective of symptoms. Persons who tested positive were transported to hospitals or predesignated community isolation areas.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Homeless Persons/statistics & numerical data , Housing/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Boston/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Cities , Georgia/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , San Francisco/epidemiology , Washington/epidemiology
11.
J Infect Dis ; 224(3): 425-430, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228503

ABSTRACT

People experiencing homelessness (PEH) are at higher risk for chronic health conditions, but clinical characteristics and outcomes for PEH hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are not known. We analyzed population-based surveillance data of COVID-19-associated hospitalizations during 1 March to 31 May 2020. Two percent of the people hospitalized with COVID-19 for whom a housing status was recorded were homeless. Of 199 cases in the analytic sample, most were of racial/ethnic minority groups and had underlying health conditions. Clinical outcomes such as ICU admission, respiratory support including mechanical ventilation, and deaths were documented. Hispanic and non-Hispanic black persons accounted for most mechanical ventilation and deaths. Severe illness was common among persons experiencing homelessness who were hospitalized with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Homeless Persons/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
12.
J Community Psychol ; 49(7): 2441-2453, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201622

ABSTRACT

People experiencing homelessness are at risk for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and may experience barriers to hand hygiene, a primary recommendation for COVID-19 prevention. We conducted in-depth interviews with 51 people experiencing sheltered and unsheltered homelessness in Atlanta, Georgia during May 2020 to August 2020 to (1) describe challenges and opportunities related to hand hygiene and (2) assess hand hygiene communication preferences. The primary hand hygiene barrier reported was limited access to facilities and supplies, which has disproportionately impacted people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. This lack of access has reportedly been exacerbated during COVID-19 by the closure of public facilities and businesses. Increased access to housing and employment were identified as long-term solutions to improving hand hygiene. Overall, participants expressed a preference for access to facilities and supplies over hand hygiene communication materials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hand Hygiene , Homeless Persons , Adult , Aged , Female , Georgia/epidemiology , Health Communication , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
13.
Ann Epidemiol ; 59: 50-55, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1198609

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Contact tracing is intended to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but it is difficult to conduct among people who live in congregate settings, including people experiencing homelessness (PEH). This analysis compares person-based contact tracing among two populations in Salt Lake County, Utah, from March-May 2020. METHODS: All laboratory-confirmed positive cases among PEH (n = 169) and documented in Utah's surveillance system were included in this analysis. The general population comparison group (n = 163) were systematically selected from all laboratory-confirmed cases identified during the same period. RESULTS: Ninety-three PEH cases (55%) were interviewed compared to 163 (100%) cases among the general population (P < .0001). PEH were more likely to be lost to follow-up at end of isolation (14.2%) versus the general population (0%; P-value < .0001) and provided fewer contacts per case (0.3) than the general population (4.7) (P-value < .0001). Contacts of PEH were more often unreachable (13.0% vs. 7.1%; P-value < .0001). CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that contact tracing among PEH should include a location-based approach, along with a person-based approach when resources allow, due to challenges in identifying, locating, and reaching cases among PEH and their contacts through person-based contact tracing efforts alone.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Homeless Persons , Contact Tracing , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Utah/epidemiology
14.
Am J Public Health ; 111(5): 854-859, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1177873

ABSTRACT

Objectives. To examine shelter characteristics and infection prevention practices in relation to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection point prevalence during universal testing at homeless shelters in the United States.Methods. SARS-CoV-2 testing was offered to clients and staff at homeless shelters, irrespective of symptoms. Site assessments were conducted from March 30 to June 1, 2020, to collect information on shelter characteristics and infection prevention practices. We assessed the association between SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence and shelter characteristics, including 20 infection prevention practices by using crude risk ratios (RRs) and exact unconditional 95% confidence intervals (CIs).Results. Site assessments and SARS-CoV-2 testing results were reported for 63 homeless shelters in 7 US urban areas. Median infection prevalence was 2.9% (range = 0%-71.4%). Shelters implementing head-to-toe sleeping and excluding symptomatic staff from working were less likely to have high infection prevalence (RR = 0.5; 95% CI = 0.3, 0.8; and RR = 0.5; 95% CI = 0.4, 0.6; respectively); shelters with medical services available were less likely to have very high infection prevalence (RR = 0.5; 95% CI = 0.2, 1.0).Conclusions. Sleeping arrangements and staffing policies are modifiable factors that might be associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence in homeless shelters. Shelters should follow recommended practices to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Homeless Persons/statistics & numerical data , Urban Population , Humans , Prevalence , United States
15.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(17): 523-526, 2020 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-101802

ABSTRACT

On March 30, 2020, Public Health - Seattle and King County (PHSKC) was notified of a confirmed case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a resident of a homeless shelter and day center (shelter A). Residents from two other homeless shelters (B and C) used shelter A's day center services. Testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was offered to available residents and staff members at the three shelters during March 30-April 1, 2020. Among the 181 persons tested, 19 (10.5%) had positive test results (15 residents and four staff members). On April 1, PHSKC and CDC collaborated to conduct site assessments and symptom screening, isolate ill residents and staff members, reinforce infection prevention and control practices, provide face masks, and advise on sheltering-in-place. Repeat testing was offered April 7-8 to all residents and staff members who were not tested initially or who had negative test results. Among the 118 persons tested in the second round of testing, 18 (15.3%) had positive test results (16 residents and two staff members). In addition to the 31 residents and six staff members identified through testing at the shelters, two additional cases in residents were identified during separate symptom screening events, and four were identified after two residents and two staff members independently sought health care. In total, COVID-19 was diagnosed in 35 of 195 (18%) residents and eight of 38 (21%) staff members who received testing at the shelter or were evaluated elsewhere. COVID-19 can spread quickly in homeless shelters; rapid interventions including testing and isolation to identify cases and minimize transmission are necessary. CDC recommends that homeless service providers implement appropriate infection control practices, apply physical distancing measures including ensuring resident's heads are at least 6 feet (2 meters) apart while sleeping, and promote use of cloth face coverings among all residents (1).


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Homeless Persons/statistics & numerical data , Housing/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Washington/epidemiology
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