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1.
JMIR Res Protoc ; 2021 Sep 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622511

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There are over 80,000 people imprisoned in England and Wales in 117 prisons. The management of the COVID-19 pandemic presents particular challenges in this setting where the confined, crowded and poorly ventilated conditions facilitate rapid spread of infectious diseases. OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 in Prison Study (CiPS) aims to examine the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in prisons in England in order to inform public health policy and practice during the pandemic and recovery. The primary objective is to estimate the proportion positive of SARS-CoV-2 infection in residents and in staff within the selected prisons. The secondary objectives include estimating the incidence rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection and examining how proportion positive and incidence rate vary among individual, institutional and system level factors. METHODS: The CiPS Phase 1 comprises a repeated panel survey of prison residents and staff in a representative sample of 28 prisons across England. All residents and staff in the study prisons are eligible for inclusion. Participants will be tested for SARS-CoV-2 using nasopharyngeal swab twice, six weeks apart. Staff will also be tested for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. Phase 2 focuses on SARS-CoV-2 infection in prisons with recognised COVID-19 outbreaks. Any prison in England will be eligible to participate if an outbreak is declared. In three outbreak prisons, all participating staff and residents will be tested for SARS-CoV-2 antigens at three timepoints: as soon as possible after the outbreak is declared (day 0), seven days later (day 7) and at day 28. They will be swabbed twice: a nasal swab for lateral flow device testing and a nasopharyngeal swab for PCR testing. Testing will be done by external contractors. Data will also be collected on individual, prison level and community factors. Data will be stored and handled at the University of Southampton and PHE. Summary statistics will summarise the prison and participant characteristics. For the primary objective, simple proportions of individuals testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 and incidence rates will be calculated. Linear regression will examine the individual, institutional, system level and community factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection within prisons. RESULTS: The UK Government's Department for Health and Social Care funds the study. Data collection started on 20th July 2020 and will end on 31st May 2021. As of May 2021, we had enrolled 4,192 staff members and 6,496 imprisoned people in the study. Data analysis has started and we expect to publish initial findings in summer/autumn 2021. The main ethical consideration is the inclusion of prisoners, who are vulnerable participants. CONCLUSIONS: This study will provide unique data to inform the public health management of SARS-CoV-2 in prisons. Its findings will be of relevance to health policy makers and practitioners working in prisons.

2.
JMIR Res Protoc ; 2021 Sep 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506631

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There are over 80,000 people imprisoned in England and Wales in 117 prisons. The management of the COVID-19 pandemic presents particular challenges in this setting where the confined, crowded and poorly ventilated conditions facilitate rapid spread of infectious diseases. OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 in Prison Study (CiPS) aims to examine the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in prisons in England in order to inform public health policy and practice during the pandemic and recovery. The primary objective is to estimate the proportion positive of SARS-CoV-2 infection in residents and in staff within the selected prisons. The secondary objectives include estimating the incidence rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection and examining how proportion positive and incidence rate vary among individual, institutional and system level factors. METHODS: The CiPS Phase 1 comprises a repeated panel survey of prison residents and staff in a representative sample of 28 prisons across England. All residents and staff in the study prisons are eligible for inclusion. Participants will be tested for SARS-CoV-2 using nasopharyngeal swab twice, six weeks apart. Staff will also be tested for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. Phase 2 focuses on SARS-CoV-2 infection in prisons with recognised COVID-19 outbreaks. Any prison in England will be eligible to participate if an outbreak is declared. In three outbreak prisons, all participating staff and residents will be tested for SARS-CoV-2 antigens at three timepoints: as soon as possible after the outbreak is declared (day 0), seven days later (day 7) and at day 28. They will be swabbed twice: a nasal swab for lateral flow device testing and a nasopharyngeal swab for PCR testing. Testing will be done by external contractors. Data will also be collected on individual, prison level and community factors. Data will be stored and handled at the University of Southampton and PHE. Summary statistics will summarise the prison and participant characteristics. For the primary objective, simple proportions of individuals testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 and incidence rates will be calculated. Linear regression will examine the individual, institutional, system level and community factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection within prisons. RESULTS: The UK Government's Department for Health and Social Care funds the study. Data collection started on 20th July 2020 and will end on 31st May 2021. As of May 2021, we had enrolled 4,192 staff members and 6,496 imprisoned people in the study. Data analysis has started and we expect to publish initial findings in summer/autumn 2021. The main ethical consideration is the inclusion of prisoners, who are vulnerable participants. CONCLUSIONS: This study will provide unique data to inform the public health management of SARS-CoV-2 in prisons. Its findings will be of relevance to health policy makers and practitioners working in prisons.

3.
Int J Prison Health ; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print)2021 08 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501266

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: In this work, the authors present some of the key results found during early efforts to model the COVID-19 outbreak inside a UK prison. In particular, this study describes outputs from an idealised disease model that simulates the dynamics of a COVID-19 outbreak in a prison setting when varying levels of social interventions are in place, and a Monte Carlo-based model that assesses the reduction in risk of case importation, resulting from a process that requires incoming prisoners to undergo a period of self-isolation prior to admission into the general prison population. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: Prisons, typically containing large populations confined in a small space with high degrees of mixing, have long been known to be especially susceptible to disease outbreaks. In an attempt to meet rising pressures from the emerging COVID-19 situation in early 2020, modellers for Public Health England's Joint Modelling Cell were asked to produce some rapid response work that sought to inform the approaches that Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) might take to reduce the risk of case importation and sustained transmission in prison environments. FINDINGS: Key results show that deploying social interventions has the potential to considerably reduce the total number of infections, while such actions could also reduce the probability that an initial infection will propagate into a prison-wide outbreak. For example, modelling showed that a 50% reduction in the risk of transmission (compared to an unmitigated outbreak) could deliver a 98% decrease in total number of cases, while this reduction could also result in 86.8% of outbreaks subsiding before more than five persons have become infected. Furthermore, this study also found that requiring new arrivals to self-isolate for 10 and 14 days prior to admission could detect up to 98% and 99% of incoming infections, respectively. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS: In this paper we have presented models which allow for the studying of COVID-19 in a prison scenario, while also allowing for the assessment of proposed social interventions. By publishing these works, the authors hope these methods might aid in the management of prisoners across additional scenarios and even during subsequent disease outbreaks. Such methods as described may also be readily applied use in other closed community settings. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: These works went towards informing HMPPS on the impacts that the described strategies might have during COVID-19 outbreaks inside UK prisons. The works described herein are readily amendable to the study of a range of addition outbreak scenarios. There is also room for these methods to be further developed and built upon which the timeliness of the original project did not permit.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Disaster Planning/organization & administration , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Prisons/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Forecasting , Health Personnel/education , Humans , United Kingdom
4.
Int J Prison Health ; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print)2021 08 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337316

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: In this work, the authors present some of the key results found during early efforts to model the COVID-19 outbreak inside a UK prison. In particular, this study describes outputs from an idealised disease model that simulates the dynamics of a COVID-19 outbreak in a prison setting when varying levels of social interventions are in place, and a Monte Carlo-based model that assesses the reduction in risk of case importation, resulting from a process that requires incoming prisoners to undergo a period of self-isolation prior to admission into the general prison population. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: Prisons, typically containing large populations confined in a small space with high degrees of mixing, have long been known to be especially susceptible to disease outbreaks. In an attempt to meet rising pressures from the emerging COVID-19 situation in early 2020, modellers for Public Health England's Joint Modelling Cell were asked to produce some rapid response work that sought to inform the approaches that Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) might take to reduce the risk of case importation and sustained transmission in prison environments. FINDINGS: Key results show that deploying social interventions has the potential to considerably reduce the total number of infections, while such actions could also reduce the probability that an initial infection will propagate into a prison-wide outbreak. For example, modelling showed that a 50% reduction in the risk of transmission (compared to an unmitigated outbreak) could deliver a 98% decrease in total number of cases, while this reduction could also result in 86.8% of outbreaks subsiding before more than five persons have become infected. Furthermore, this study also found that requiring new arrivals to self-isolate for 10 and 14 days prior to admission could detect up to 98% and 99% of incoming infections, respectively. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS: In this paper we have presented models which allow for the studying of COVID-19 in a prison scenario, while also allowing for the assessment of proposed social interventions. By publishing these works, the authors hope these methods might aid in the management of prisoners across additional scenarios and even during subsequent disease outbreaks. Such methods as described may also be readily applied use in other closed community settings. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: These works went towards informing HMPPS on the impacts that the described strategies might have during COVID-19 outbreaks inside UK prisons. The works described herein are readily amendable to the study of a range of addition outbreak scenarios. There is also room for these methods to be further developed and built upon which the timeliness of the original project did not permit.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Disaster Planning/organization & administration , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Prisons/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Forecasting , Health Personnel/education , Humans , United Kingdom
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