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1.
J Am Geriatr Soc ; 2021 Nov 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526377

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: After the first of three COVID-19 vaccination clinics in U.S. nursing homes (NHs), the median vaccination coverage of staff was 37.5%, indicating the need to identify strategies to increase staff coverage. We aimed at comparing the facility-level activities, policies, incentives, and communication methods associated with higher staff COVID-19 vaccination coverage. METHODS: Design. Case-control analysis. SETTING: Nationally stratified random sample of 1338 U.S. NHs participating in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. PARTICIPANTS: Nursing home leadership. MEASUREMENT: During February 4-March 2, 2021, we surveyed NHs with low (<35%), medium (40%-60%), and high (>75%) staff vaccination coverage, to collect information on facility strategies used to encourage staff vaccination. Cases were respondents with medium and high vaccination coverage, whereas controls were respondents with low coverage. We used logistic regression modeling, adjusted for county and NH characteristics, to identify strategies associated with facility-level vaccination coverage. RESULTS: We obtained responses from 413 of 1338 NHs (30.9%). Compared with facilities with lower staff vaccination coverage, facilities with medium or high coverage were more likely to have designated frontline staff champions (medium: adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 3.6, 95% CI 1.3-10.3; high: aOR 2.9, 95% CI 1.1-7.7) and set vaccination goals (medium: aOR 2.4, 95% 1.0-5.5; high: aOR 3.7, 95% CI 1.6-8.3). NHs with high vaccination coverage were more likely to have given vaccinated staff rewards such as T-shirts compared with NHs with low coverage (aOR 3.8, 95% CI 1.3-11.0). Use of multiple strategies was associated with greater likelihood of facilities having medium or high vaccination coverage: For example, facilities that used ≥9 strategies were three times more likely to have high staff vaccination coverage than facilities using <6 strategies (aOR 3.3, 95% CI 1.2-8.9). CONCLUSIONS: Use of designated champions, setting targets, and use of non-monetary awards were associated with high NH staff COVID-19 vaccination coverage.

2.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0260055, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518367

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A large portion of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the United States have occurred in nursing homes; however, current literature including the frontline perspective of staff working in nursing homes is limited. The objective of this qualitative assessment was to better understand what individual and facility level factors may have contributed to the impact of COVID-19 on Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Environmental Services (EVS) staff working in nursing homes. METHODS: Based on a simple random sample from the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), 7,520 facilities were emailed invitations requesting one CNA and/or one EVS staff member for participation in a voluntary focus group over Zoom. Facility characteristics were obtained via NHSN and publicly available sources; participant demographics were collected via SurveyMonkey during registration and polling during focus groups. Qualitative information was coded using NVIVO and Excel. RESULTS: Throughout April 2021, 23 focus groups including 110 participants from 84 facilities were conducted homogenous by participant role. Staffing problems were a recurring theme reported. Participants often cited the toll the pandemic took on their emotional well-being, describing increased stress, responsibilities, and time needed to complete their jobs. The lack of consistent and systematic guidance resulting in frequently changing infection prevention protocols was also reported across focus groups. CONCLUSIONS: Addressing concerns of low wages and lack of financial incentives may have the potential to attract and retain employees to help alleviate nursing home staff shortages. Additionally, access to mental health resources could help nursing home staff cope with the emotional burden of the COVID-19 pandemic. These frontline staff members provided invaluable insight and should be included in improvement efforts to support nursing homes recovering from the impact of COVID-19 as well as future pandemic planning.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Caregivers , Nursing Homes , Pandemics , Adult , Female , Health Facilities , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nursing Staff , Risk Factors , Young Adult
4.
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 22(3): 498-503, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1099168

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Effective halting of outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) depends on the earliest recognition of cases. We assessed confirmed COVID-19 cases at an SNF impacted by COVID-19 in the United States to identify early indications of COVID-19 infection. METHODS: We performed retrospective reviews of electronic health records for residents with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 during February 28-March 16, 2020. Records were abstracted for comorbidities, signs and symptoms, and illness outcomes during the 2 weeks before and after the date of positive specimen collection. Relative risks (RRs) of hospitalization and death were calculated. RESULTS: Of the 118 residents tested among approximately 130 residents from Facility A during February 28-March 16, 2020, 101 (86%) were found to test positive for SARS-CoV-2. At initial presentation, about two-thirds of SARS-CoV-2-positive residents had an abnormal vital sign or change in oxygen status. Most (90.2%) symptomatic residents had elevated temperature, change in mental status, lethargy, change in oxygen status, or cough; 9 (11.0%) did not have fever, cough, or shortness of breath during their clinical course. Those with change in oxygen status had an increased relative risk (RR) of 30-day mortality [51.1% vs 29.7%, RR 1.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.0-3.0]. RR of hospitalization was higher for residents with underlying hepatic disease (1.6, 95% CI 1.1-2.2) or obesity (1.5, 95% CI 1.1-2.1); RR of death was not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Our findings reinforce the critical role that monitoring of signs and symptoms can have in identifying COVID-19 cases early. SNFs should ensure they have a systematic approach for responding to abnormal vital signs and oxygen saturation and consider ensuring common signs and symptoms identified in Facility A are among those they monitor.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Skilled Nursing Facilities , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Male , Medical Records , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , United States
5.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(46): 1730-1735, 2020 Nov 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-937753

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of residents and staff members in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) (1). Although skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have federal COVID-19 reporting requirements, national surveillance data are less readily available for other types of LTCFs, such as assisted living facilities (ALFs) and those providing similar residential care. However, many state and territorial health departments publicly report COVID-19 surveillance data across various types of LTCFs. These data were systematically retrieved from health department websites to characterize COVID-19 cases and deaths in ALF residents and staff members. Limited ALF COVID-19 data were available for 39 states, although reporting varied. By October 15, 2020, among 28,623 ALFs, 6,440 (22%) had at least one COVID-19 case among residents or staff members. Among the states with available data, the proportion of COVID-19 cases that were fatal was 21.2% for ALF residents, 0.3% for ALF staff members, and 2.5% overall for the general population of these states. To prevent the introduction and spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in their facilities, ALFs should 1) identify a point of contact at the local health department; 2) educate residents, families, and staff members about COVID-19; 3) have a plan for visitor and staff member restrictions; 4) encourage social (physical) distancing and the use of masks, as appropriate; 5) implement recommended infection prevention and control practices and provide access to supplies; 6) rapidly identify and properly respond to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases in residents and staff members; and 7) conduct surveillance of COVID-19 cases and deaths, facility staffing, and supply information (2).


Subject(s)
Assisted Living Facilities , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Assisted Living Facilities/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Female , Humans , Infection Control/organization & administration , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , United States/epidemiology
6.
N Engl J Med ; 382(22): 2081-2090, 2020 05 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-116920

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection can spread rapidly within skilled nursing facilities. After identification of a case of Covid-19 in a skilled nursing facility, we assessed transmission and evaluated the adequacy of symptom-based screening to identify infections in residents. METHODS: We conducted two serial point-prevalence surveys, 1 week apart, in which assenting residents of the facility underwent nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal testing for SARS-CoV-2, including real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR), viral culture, and sequencing. Symptoms that had been present during the preceding 14 days were recorded. Asymptomatic residents who tested positive were reassessed 7 days later. Residents with SARS-CoV-2 infection were categorized as symptomatic with typical symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath), symptomatic with only atypical symptoms, presymptomatic, or asymptomatic. RESULTS: Twenty-three days after the first positive test result in a resident at this skilled nursing facility, 57 of 89 residents (64%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Among 76 residents who participated in point-prevalence surveys, 48 (63%) tested positive. Of these 48 residents, 27 (56%) were asymptomatic at the time of testing; 24 subsequently developed symptoms (median time to onset, 4 days). Samples from these 24 presymptomatic residents had a median rRT-PCR cycle threshold value of 23.1, and viable virus was recovered from 17 residents. As of April 3, of the 57 residents with SARS-CoV-2 infection, 11 had been hospitalized (3 in the intensive care unit) and 15 had died (mortality, 26%). Of the 34 residents whose specimens were sequenced, 27 (79%) had sequences that fit into two clusters with a difference of one nucleotide. CONCLUSIONS: Rapid and widespread transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was demonstrated in this skilled nursing facility. More than half of residents with positive test results were asymptomatic at the time of testing and most likely contributed to transmission. Infection-control strategies focused solely on symptomatic residents were not sufficient to prevent transmission after SARS-CoV-2 introduction into this facility.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Diseases , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Skilled Nursing Facilities , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Cough/etiology , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Dyspnea/etiology , Female , Fever/etiology , Genome, Viral , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Prevalence , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load , Washington/epidemiology
7.
N Engl J Med ; 382(21): 2005-2011, 2020 05 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-17812

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Long-term care facilities are high-risk settings for severe outcomes from outbreaks of Covid-19, owing to both the advanced age and frequent chronic underlying health conditions of the residents and the movement of health care personnel among facilities in a region. METHODS: After identification on February 28, 2020, of a confirmed case of Covid-19 in a skilled nursing facility in King County, Washington, Public Health-Seattle and King County, aided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, launched a case investigation, contact tracing, quarantine of exposed persons, isolation of confirmed and suspected cases, and on-site enhancement of infection prevention and control. RESULTS: As of March 18, a total of 167 confirmed cases of Covid-19 affecting 101 residents, 50 health care personnel, and 16 visitors were found to be epidemiologically linked to the facility. Most cases among residents included respiratory illness consistent with Covid-19; however, in 7 residents no symptoms were documented. Hospitalization rates for facility residents, visitors, and staff were 54.5%, 50.0%, and 6.0%, respectively. The case fatality rate for residents was 33.7% (34 of 101). As of March 18, a total of 30 long-term care facilities with at least one confirmed case of Covid-19 had been identified in King County. CONCLUSIONS: In the context of rapidly escalating Covid-19 outbreaks, proactive steps by long-term care facilities to identify and exclude potentially infected staff and visitors, actively monitor for potentially infected patients, and implement appropriate infection prevention and control measures are needed to prevent the introduction of Covid-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Transmission, Infectious , Infection Control/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Skilled Nursing Facilities , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Contact Tracing , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Outbreaks , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Long-Term Care , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Washington/epidemiology
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