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Open forum infectious diseases ; 8(Suppl 1):S312-S312, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1564710


Background In April 2021, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre opened a Mobile Health Unit (MHU, i.e. medical tents) under the direction of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care in response to a surge in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 during wave three of the pandemic. Providing care to patients in non-conventional spaces is not new, however, experience in safely caring for COVID-19 patients in these settings is lacking. Our aim is to describe the implementation of our MHU and associated outcomes of these COVID-19 patients. Methods A multidisciplinary clinical and operations team was created to plan, execute and operate a safe environment for COVID-19 patients and healthcare workers within the MHU. Patient selection was restricted to patients with COVID-19 who were clinically recovering from severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Ventilation was optimized with air flow directed away from patient areas, velocity reduced to below 0.25 meters per second, and air exchanges of 24-28 per hour. All healthcare workers working in the MHU were offered COVID-19 vaccine and required to complete mandatory education if they declined (vaccination rate of 87% was achieved among dedicated staff). Universal masking and eye protection was used throughout the MHU with designated areas for donning and doffing personal protective equipment. Results In total, 32 patients with COVID-19 were managed in the MHU between 26 April and 21 May, 2021. Table 1 provides the summary of patient characteristics. All patients had a median of one-day of transmission-based precautions remaining in their course and were infected with Alpha variant with exception of one patient with the Gamma variant. Among those patients with genotyping available, all were infected with SARS-CoV-2 carrying the N501Y mutation. Four of the 32 patients required transfer to the main hospital for medical indication while the others were discharged home or to rehabilitation. None of the healthcare workers who worked within the MHU developed COVID-19 infection. Conclusion We safely cared for patients recovering from COVID-19 infection in an MHU to support system healthcare capacity. Our experience, including the specific hierarchy of controls implemented, may be helpful for future pandemic planning. Disclosures All Authors: No reported disclosures

Curr Oncol ; 28(1): 278-282, 2021 01 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011431


Patients with cancer are more vulnerable to severe COVID-19. As a result, routine SARS-CoV-2 testing of asymptomatic patients with cancer is recommended prior to treatment. However, there is limited evidence of its clinical usefulness. The objective of this study is to evaluate the value of routine testing of asymptomatic patients with cancer. Asymptomatic patients with cancer attending Odette Cancer Centre (Toronto, ON, Canada) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 prior to and during treatment cycles. Results were compared to positivity rates of SARS-CoV-2 locally and provincially. All 890 asymptomatic patients tested negative. Positivity rates in the province were 1.5%, in hospital were 1.0%, and among OCC's symptomatic cancer patients were 0% over the study period. Given our findings and the low SARS-CoV-2 community positivity rates, we recommend a dynamic testing model of asymptomatic patients that triggers testing during increasing community positivity rates of SARS-CoV-2.

Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Neoplasms/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cancer Care Facilities , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Ontario