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1.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-33, 2022 Feb 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705783

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In response to the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) designated 56 US hospitals as Ebola treatment centers (ETCs) with high-level isolation capabilities. We aimed to determine ongoing sustainability of ETCs and identify how ETC capabilities have impacted hospital, local, and regional COVID-19 readiness and response. DESIGN: An electronic survey included both qualitative and quantitative questions and was structured into two sections: operational sustainability and role in the COVID-19 response. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: The survey was distributed to site representatives from the 56 originally designated ETCs; 37 (66%) responded. METHODS: Data were coded and analyzed using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: Of the 37 responding ETCs, 33 (89%) reported they were still operating while 4 had decommissioned. ETCs that maintain high-level isolation capabilities incurred a mean of $234,367 in expenses per year. All but one ETC reported that existing capabilities (e.g., trained staff, infrastructure) before COVID-19 positively affected their hospital, local, and regional COVID-19 readiness and response (e.g., ETCs trained staff, donated supplies, and shared developed protocols). CONCLUSIONS: Existing high-level isolation capabilities and expertise developed following the 2014-2016 EVD epidemic were leveraged by ETCs to assist hospital-wide readiness for COVID-19 and support response for other local and regional hospitals However, ETCs face continued challenges in sustaining those capabilities for high-consequence infectious diseases.

2.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(4): 1032-1038, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085129

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has severely impacted the meat processing industry in the United States. We sought to detail demographics and outcomes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infections among workers in Nebraska meat processing facilities and determine the effects of initiating universal mask policies and installing physical barriers at 13 meat processing facilities. During April 1-July 31, 2020, COVID-19 was diagnosed in 5,002 Nebraska meat processing workers (attack rate 19%). After initiating both universal masking and physical barrier interventions, 8/13 facilities showed a statistically significant reduction in COVID-19 incidence in <10 days. Characteristics and incidence of confirmed cases aligned with many nationwide trends becoming apparent during this pandemic: specifically, high attack rates among meat processing industry workers, disproportionately high risk of adverse outcomes among ethnic and racial minority groups and men, and effectiveness of using multiple prevention and control interventions to reduce disease transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Food-Processing Industry , Infection Control , Meat-Packing Industry , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Food-Processing Industry/methods , Food-Processing Industry/organization & administration , Food-Processing Industry/trends , Humans , Incidence , Infection Control/instrumentation , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/organization & administration , Male , Meat-Packing Industry/methods , Meat-Packing Industry/organization & administration , Meat-Packing Industry/trends , Minority Health/statistics & numerical data , Nebraska/epidemiology , Occupational Health/standards , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Workplace/standards
3.
J Emerg Nurs ; 46(6): 932-940, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-831171

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Efficient identification and isolation of patients with communicable diseases limits exposure to health care workers, other patients, and visitors. In August 2014, our team developed and implemented an algorithm to triage suspected cases of Ebola virus disease in a midwestern United States emergency department and outpatient clinics based on patient travel history and symptoms. Here, we present the lessons learned and modifications to update the tool. METHODS: Two strategies were developed and utilized to properly identify, isolate, and inform on patients with suspected highly hazardous communicable diseases: 1) a robust electronic symptom and travel screen with decision support tools in the electronic medical record, and 2) the availability of workflow protocols for Ebola virus disease, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) once a person under investigation is identified. After action reports provided opportunities to modify the algorithm and improve the identification and isolation processes. RESULTS: Since our screening and travel electronic medical record inception 5 years ago, modifications changed iteratively to further enhance the screening process. Since 2018, staff have identified 5 patients at risk for MERS; in all cases, identification occurred during the check-in process. Exposure investigations in the emergency department decreased significantly after algorithm implementation in January 2019, from 30 in 2018 to 0 in 2019. DISCUSSION: Although highly hazardous communicable diseases like Ebola virus disease and MERS are of concern due to their mortality rates and limited treatment options, these same concepts may be applied to the early identification and isolation of patients suspected of having more common communicable diseases like measles and influenza, emphasizing the importance of protocol-based screening in the healthcare environment.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Electronic Health Records , Emergency Nursing/methods , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Travel/statistics & numerical data , Triage/methods , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Decision Support Techniques , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Midwestern United States , Patient Isolation/methods , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 102(5): 926-931, 2020 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-306760

ABSTRACT

The optimal time to initiate research on emergencies is before they occur. However, timely initiation of high-quality research may launch during an emergency under the right conditions. These include an appropriate context, clarity in scientific aims, preexisting resources, strong operational and research structures that are facile, and good governance. Here, Nebraskan rapid research efforts early during the 2020 coronavirus disease pandemic, while participating in the first use of U.S. federal quarantine in 50 years, are described from these aspects, as the global experience with this severe emerging infection grew apace. The experience has lessons in purpose, structure, function, and performance of research in any emergency, when facing any threat.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Biomedical Research , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Emergencies , Female , Humans , Male , Patient Isolation , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2
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