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1.
CMAJ Open ; 9(4): E929-E939, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468744

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Health care workers have a critical role in the pandemic response to COVID-19 and may be at increased risk of infection. The objective of this study was to assess the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies among health care workers during and after the first wave of the pandemic. METHODS: We conducted a prospective multicentre cohort study involving health care workers in Ontario, Canada, to detect IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Blood samples and self-reported questionnaires were obtained at enrolment, at 6 weeks and at 12 weeks. A community hospital, tertiary care pediatric hospital and a combined adult-pediatric academic health centre enrolled participants from Apr. 1 to Nov. 13, 2020. Predictors of seropositivity were evaluated using a multivariable logistic regression, adjusted for clustering by hospital site. RESULTS: Among the 1062 health care workers participating, the median age was 40 years, and 834 (78.5%) were female. Overall, 57 (5.4%) were seropositive at any time point (2.5% when participants with prior infection confirmed by polymerase chain reaction testing were excluded). Seroprevalence was higher among those who had a known unprotected exposure to a patient with COVID-19 (p < 0.001) and those who had been contacted by public health because of a nonhospital exposure (p = 0.003). Providing direct care to patients with COVID-19 or working on a unit with a COVID-19 outbreak was not associated with higher seroprevalence. In multivariable logistic regression, presence of symptomatic contacts in the household was the strongest predictor of seropositivity (adjusted odds ratio 7.15, 95% confidence interval 5.42-9.41). INTERPRETATION: Health care workers exposed to household risk factors were more likely to be seropositive than those not exposed, highlighting the need to emphasize the importance of public health measures both inside and outside of the hospital.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Occupational Exposure/statistics & numerical data , Ontario/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Tertiary Care Centers
2.
CMAJ ; 193(5): E198-E199, 2021 02 01.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388974
3.
CMAJ ; 193(1): E24-E25, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388973
4.
JAMA Pediatr ; 175(11): 1151-1158, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358050

ABSTRACT

Importance: As a result of low numbers of pediatric cases early in the COVID-19 pandemic, pediatric household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 remains an understudied topic. Objective: To determine whether there are differences in the odds of household transmission by younger children compared with older children. Design, Setting, and Participants: This population-based cohort study took place between June 1 and December 31, 2020, in Ontario, Canada. Private households in which the index case individual of laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection was younger than 18 years were included. Individuals were excluded if they resided in apartments missing suite information, in households with multiple index cases, or in households where the age of the index case individual was missing. Exposures: Age group of pediatric index cases categorized as 0 to 3, 4 to 8, 9 to 13, and 14 to 17 years. Main Outcomes and Measures: Household transmission, defined as households where at least 1 secondary case occurred 1 to 14 days after the pediatric index case. Results: A total of 6280 households had pediatric index cases, and 1717 households (27.3%) experienced secondary transmission. The mean (SD) age of pediatric index case individuals was 10.7 (5.1) years and 2863 (45.6%) were female individuals. Children aged 0 to 3 years had the highest odds of transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to household contacts compared with children aged 14 to 17 years (odds ratio, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.17-1.75). This association was similarly observed in sensitivity analyses defining secondary cases as 2 to 14 days or 4 to 14 days after the index case and stratified analyses by presence of symptoms, association with a school/childcare outbreak, or school/childcare reopening. Children aged 4 to 8 years and 9 to 13 years also had increased odds of transmission (aged 4-8 years: odds ratio, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.18-1.67; aged 9-13 years: odds ratio, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.97-1.32). Conclusions and Relevance: This study suggests that younger children may be more likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with older children, and the highest odds of transmission was observed for children aged 0 to 3 years. Differential infectivity of pediatric age groups has implications for infection prevention within households, as well as schools/childcare, to minimize risk of household secondary transmission. Additional population-based studies are required to establish the risk of transmission by younger pediatric index cases.

6.
Vaccine ; 39(31): 4373-4382, 2021 07 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263386

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has a worldwide impact on all health services, including childhood immunizations. In Canada, there is limited data to quantify and characterize this issue. METHODS: We conducted a descriptive, cross-sectional study by distributing online surveys to physicians across Ontario. The survey included three sections: provider characteristics, impact of COVID-19 on professional practice, and impact of COVID-19 on routine childhood immunization services. Multivariable logistic regression identified factors associated with modification of immunization services. RESULTS: A total of 475 respondents answered the survey from May 27th to July 3rd 2020, including 189 family physicians and 286 pediatricians. The median proportion of in-person visits reported by physicians before the pandemic was 99% and dropped to 18% during the first wave of the pandemic in Ontario. In total, 175 (44.6%) of the 392 respondents who usually provide vaccination to children acknowledged a negative impact caused by the pandemic on their immunization services, ranging from temporary closure of their practice (n = 18; 4.6%) to postponement of vaccines in certain age groups (n = 103; 26.3%). Pediatricians were more likely to experience a negative impact on their immunization services compared to family physicians (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.64, 95% CI: 1.48-4.68), as well as early career physicians compared to their more senior colleagues (aOR = 2.69, 95% CI: 1.30-5.56), whereas physicians from suburban settings were less impacted than physicians from urban settings (aOR = 0.62, 95% CI: 0.39-0.99). Some of the proposed solutions to decreased immunization services included assistance in accessing personal protective equipment, dedicated centers or practices for vaccination, universal centralized electronic immunization records and education campaigns for parents. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 has caused substantial modifications to pediatric immunization services across Ontario. Strategies to mitigate barriers to immunizations during the pandemic need to be implemented in order to avoid immunity gaps that could lead to an eventual increase in vaccine preventable diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Immunization , Ontario/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
7.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 42(3): 261-267, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1131955

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In this study, we aimed to capture perspectives of healthcare workers (HCWs) on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures implemented during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey of HCWs. PARTICIPANTS: HCWs from the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada. INTERVENTION: A self-administered survey was distributed to HCWs. We analyzed factors influencing HCW knowledge and self-reported use of personal protective equipment (PPE), concerns about contracting COVID-19 and acceptance of the recommended IPAC precautions for COVID-19. RESULTS: In total, 175 HCWs completed the survey between March 6 and March 10: 35 staff physicians (20%), 24 residents or fellows (14%), 72 nurses (41%), 14 respiratory therapists (8%), 14 administration staff (8%), and 14 other employees (8%). Most of the respondents were from the emergency department (n = 58, 33%) and the intensive care unit (n = 58, 33%). Only 86 respondents (50%) identified the correct donning order; only 60 (35%) identified the correct doffing order; but the majority (n = 113, 70%) indicated the need to wash their hands immediately prior to removal of their mask and eye protection. Also, 91 (54%) respondents felt comfortable with recommendations for droplet and/or contact precautions for routine care of patients with COVID-19. HCW occupation and concerns about contracting COVID-19 outside work were associated with nonacceptance of the recommendations (P = .016 and P = .036 respectively). CONCLUSION: As part of their pandemic response plans, healthcare institutions should have ongoing training for HCWs that focus on appropriate PPE doffing and discussions around modes of transmission of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Guideline Adherence/statistics & numerical data , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Personnel , Personal Protective Equipment , Adult , COVID-19/transmission , Canada , Cross-Sectional Studies , Gloves, Protective , Hospitals, Pediatric , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/standards , Middle Aged , Perception , Respiratory Protective Devices , Surveys and Questionnaires , Tertiary Care Centers
9.
J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc ; 9(6): 766-768, 2020 Dec 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889574

ABSTRACT

Visitor restriction policies in pediatric wards during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak are variable. Among 36 hospitals that responded to our survey, 97% allowed at least 1 visitor, with 67% restricting to 1 caregiver. Sixty-nine percent required the visitor to wear personal protective equipment and only 19% allowed non-household visitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Hospital Departments/organization & administration , Pediatrics , Visitors to Patients , Canada , Child , Hospital Departments/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pediatrics/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States
10.
CMAJ ; 192(41): E1189-E1197, 2020 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-690395

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Unprecedented demand for N95 respirators during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a global shortage of these masks. We validated a rapidly applicable, low-cost decontamination protocol in compliance with regulatory standards to enable the safe reuse of N95 respirators. METHODS: We inoculated 4 common models of N95 respirators with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and evaluated viral inactivation after disinfection for 60 minutes at 70°C and 0% relative humidity. Similarly, we evaluated thermal disinfection at 0% to 70% relative humidity for masks inoculated with Escherichia coli. We assessed masks subjected to multiple cycles of thermal disinfection for structural integrity using scanning electron microscopy and for protective functions using standards of the United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for particle filtration efficiency, breathing resistance and respirator fit. RESULTS: A single heat treatment rendered SARS-CoV-2 undetectable in all mask samples. Compared with untreated inoculated control masks, E. coli cultures at 24 hours were virtually undetectable from masks treated at 70°C and 50% relative humidity (optical density at 600 nm wavelength, 0.02 ± 0.02 v. 2.77 ± 0.09, p < 0.001), but contamination persisted for masks treated at lower relative humidity. After 10 disinfection cycles, masks maintained fibre diameters similar to untreated masks and continued to meet standards for fit, filtration efficiency and breathing resistance. INTERPRETATION: Thermal disinfection successfully decontaminated N95 respirators without impairing structural integrity or function. This process could be used in hospitals and long-term care facilities with commonly available equipment to mitigate the depletion of N95 masks.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Disinfection/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Respiratory Protective Devices/standards , COVID-19 , Hot Temperature , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
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