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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Jun 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901144

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Concurrent detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and another respiratory virus in individuals can document contemporaneous circulation. We used an ongoing, community-based study of school-aged children and their households to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 co-detections with other respiratory viruses in a non-medically attended population over a two-year period. METHODS: Household enrollment was predicated on an acute respiratory illness in a child residing in that household who was also a kindergarten through 12th grade student in the participating school district. Demographic, symptom and household composition data, and self-collected nasal specimens were obtained on the recruitment day, and 7 and 14 days later, from the index child and all other household members. All specimens were tested for SARS-CoV-2/influenza A/B by RT-PCR. Day 0 specimens from the index children were simultaneously tested for 17 viruses using a commercial respiratory pathogen panel (RPP). To assess viral co-detections involving SARS-CoV-2, all household specimens were tested via RPP if the index child's Day 0 specimen tested positive to any of the 17 viral targets in RPP and any household member tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: Of 2,109 participants (497 index children in 497 households with 1,612 additional household members), two (0.1%) were positive for both SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A; an additional 11 (0.5%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 and another RPP-covered respiratory virus. Co-detections predominantly affected school-aged children (12 out of 13 total) and were noted in 11 of 497 households. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 co-detections with other respiratory viruses were uncommon and predominated in school-aged children.

2.
PLoS One ; 17(4): e0267111, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1808570

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Schools are primary venues of influenza amplification with secondary spread to communities. We assessed K-12 student absenteeism monitoring as a means for early detection of influenza activity in the community. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between September 2014 and March 2020, we conducted a prospective observational study of all-cause (a-TOT), illness-associated (a-I), and influenza-like illness-associated (a-ILI) absenteeism within the Oregon School District (OSD), Dane County, Wisconsin. Absenteeism was reported through the electronic student information system. Students were visited at home where pharyngeal specimens were collected for influenza RT-PCR testing. Surveillance of medically-attended laboratory-confirmed influenza (MAI) occurred in five primary care clinics in and adjoining the OSD. Poisson general additive log linear regression models of daily counts of absenteeism and MAI were compared using correlation analysis. FINDINGS: Influenza was detected in 723 of 2,378 visited students, and in 1,327 of 4,903 MAI patients. Over six influenza seasons, a-ILI was significantly correlated with MAI in the community (r = 0.57; 95% CI: 0.53-0.63) with a one-day lead time and a-I was significantly correlated with MAI in the community (r = 0.49; 0.44-0.54) with a 10-day lead time, while a-TOT performed poorly (r = 0.27; 0.21-0.33), following MAI by six days. DISCUSSION: Surveillance using cause-specific absenteeism was feasible and performed well over a study period marked by diverse presentations of seasonal influenza. Monitoring a-I and a-ILI can provide early warning of seasonal influenza in time for community mitigation efforts.


Subject(s)
Absenteeism , Influenza, Human , Humans , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Schools , Students , Wisconsin/epidemiology
4.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-296470

ABSTRACT

Pre-emptive school closures are frontline community mitigation measures recommended by CDC for implementation during severe pandemics. This study describes the spatiotemporal patterns of publicly announced school closures implemented in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and assesses how public K-12 districts adjusted their methods of education delivery and provision of subsidized meals. During February 18–June 30, 2020, we used daily systematic media searches to identify publicly announced coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)–related school closures lasting ≥1 day in the United States (US). We also collected statewide school closure policies from state government websites. Data on distance learning and subsidized meal programs were collected from a stratified sample of 600 school districts. The first COVID-19–associated school closure occurred on February 27, 2020 in Washington state. By March 30, 2020, all but one US public school districts were closed, representing the first-ever nearly synchronous nationwide closure of public K-12 schools in the US. Approximately 100,000 public schools were closed for ≥8 weeks because of COVID-19, affecting >50 million K-12 students. Of 600 districts sampled, the vast majority offered distance learning (91.0%) and continued provision of subsidized meal programs (78.8%) during the closures. Despite the sudden and prolonged nature of COVID-19–associated school closures, schools demonstrated flexibility by implementing distance learning and alternate methods to continue subsidized meal programs.

5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295027

ABSTRACT

Introduction Outside of pandemics, there is little information about occurrence of prolonged unplanned K-12 school closures (PUSC). We describe here the reasons, characteristics, and patterns of PUSC in the United States during 8 consecutive inter-pandemic academic years, 2011-2019. Methods From August 1, 2011 through June 30, 2019, daily systematic online searches were conducted to collect data on publicly announced unplanned school closures lasting ≥1 school days in the United States. Closures were categorized as prolonged when schools were closed for ≥5 unplanned days (approximating one full workweek), excluding weekends and scheduled days off per school calendars. Results During the eight academic years, a total of 21,725 PUSCs were identified, affecting over 800,000 teachers and 13 million students that resulted in 89.9 million student-days lost. A median of 62.9% of students in PUSC-affected schools were eligible for subsidized school meals. Most affected schools were in cities (35%) and suburban areas (34%). Natural disasters (48%), adverse weather conditions (35%), and budget/teacher strikes (15%) were the most frequently cited reasons for PUSC;illness accounted for 1%, and building/facility issues, environmental issues and violence together accounted for the remaining 3%. The highest number of PUSCs occurred in Health and Human Services Regions 2, 3, 4, and 6 encompassing areas that are frequently in the path of hurricanes and tropical storms. The majority of PUSCs in these regions were attributed to a handful of hurricanes during the fall season, including hurricanes Sandy, Irma, Harvey, Florence, and Matthew. Conclusions PUSCs occur annually in the United States due to a variety of causes and are associated with a substantive loss of student-days for in-school learning. Both these prior experiences with PUSCs and those during the current COVID-19 pandemic illustrate a need for creating sustainable solutions for high-quality distance learning and innovative supplemental feeding programs nationwide, especially in disaster-prone areas.

6.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294044

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Objective To assess feasibility and acceptability of implementing non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) reserved for influenza pandemics (voluntary home quarantine;use of face masks by ill persons;childcare facility closures;school closures;and social distancing at schools, workplaces, and mass gatherings), and the availability and usefulness of influenza surveillance data for triggering implementation of NPIs. Methods Public health officials in all 50 states, Washington, DC, and 8 territories, and a stratified, random sample of 822 local health departments (LHDs) were surveyed in 2019. Results The response rates for the states/territories and LHDs were 75% (44/59) and 25% (206/822), respectively. About two-thirds to three-fourths of the state/territorial respondents stated that the feasibility and acceptability of implementing the NPIs were high, except for K-12 school closures lasting up to 6 weeks or 6 months. The LHD respondents also indicated that feasibility and acceptability were lowest for prolonged school closures. Compared to LHD respondents in suburban or urban areas, those in rural areas expressed lower feasibility and acceptability. Availability of influenza surveillance data in near real-time was lowest for influenza-like illness and influenza cases in schools. Conclusions The findings can provide insights regarding the implementation of NPIs during the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

7.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(39): 1374-1376, 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444555

ABSTRACT

Beginning in January 2021, the U.S. government prioritized ensuring continuity of learning for all students during the COVID-19 pandemic (1). To estimate the extent of COVID-19-associated school disruptions, CDC and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory used a Hidden Markov Model (HMM) (2) statistical approach to estimate the most likely actual learning modality based on patterns observed in past data, accounting for conflicting or missing information and systematic Internet searches (3) for COVID-19-related school closures. This information was used to assess how many U.S. schools were open, and in which learning modalities, during August 1-September 17, 2021. Learning modalities included 1) full in-person learning, 2) a hybrid of in-person and remote learning, and 3) full remote learning.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Education/methods , Education/statistics & numerical data , Schools/organization & administration , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Education, Distance/statistics & numerical data , Humans , United States/epidemiology
8.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0248925, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406748

ABSTRACT

Pre-emptive school closures are frontline community mitigation measures recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for implementation during severe pandemics. This study describes the spatiotemporal patterns of publicly announced school closures implemented in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and assesses how public K-12 districts adjusted their methods of education delivery and provision of subsidized meals. During February 18-June 30, 2020, we used daily systematic media searches to identify publicly announced COVID-19-related school closures lasting ≥1 day in the United States (US). We also collected statewide school closure policies from state government websites. Data on distance learning and subsidized meal programs were collected from a stratified sample of 600 school districts. The first COVID-19-associated school closure occurred on February 27, 2020 in Washington state. By March 30, 2020, all but one US public school districts were closed, representing the first-ever nearly synchronous nationwide closure of public K-12 schools in the US. Approximately 100,000 public schools were closed for ≥8 weeks because of COVID-19, affecting >50 million K-12 students. Of 600 districts sampled, the vast majority offered distance learning (91.0%) and continued provision of subsidized meal programs (78.8%) during the closures. Despite the sudden and prolonged nature of COVID-19-associated school closures, schools demonstrated flexibility by implementing distance learning and alternate methods to continue subsidized meal programs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Food Assistance , Schools , Adolescent , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Humans , Meals , Pandemics , United States/epidemiology
9.
Ann N Y Acad Sci ; 1489(1): 17-29, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280366

ABSTRACT

For years, experts have warned that a global pandemic was only a matter of time. Indeed, over the past two decades, several outbreaks and pandemics, from SARS to Ebola, have tested our ability to respond to a disease threat and provided the opportunity to refine our preparedness systems. However, when a novel coronavirus with human-to-human transmissibility emerged in China in 2019, many of these systems were found lacking. From international disputes over data and resources to individual disagreements over the effectiveness of facemasks, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed several vulnerabilities. As of early November 2020, the WHO has confirmed over 46 million cases and 1.2 million deaths worldwide. While the world will likely be reeling from the effects of COVID-19 for months, and perhaps years, to come, one key question must be asked, How can we do better next time? This report summarizes views of experts from around the world on how lessons from past pandemics have shaped our current disease preparedness and response efforts, and how the COVID-19 pandemic may offer an opportunity to reinvent public health and healthcare systems to be more robust the next time a major challenge appears.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Delivery of Health Care , Pandemics , Public Health , Congresses as Topic , Humans
10.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; : 1-7, 2020 Dec 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1137708

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To describe school district preparedness for school closures and other relevant strategies before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. METHODS: A stratified random sample of 957 public school districts from the 50 US states and the District of Columbia were surveyed between October 2015 and August 2016. The response rates for the questionnaires were as follows: Healthy and Safe School Environment, Crisis Preparedness Module (60%; N = 572), Nutrition Services (63%; N = 599), and Health Services (64%; N = 613). Data were analyzed using descriptive and regression techniques. RESULTS: Most school districts had procedures that would facilitate the implementation of school closures (88.7%). Fewer districts had plans for ensuring continuity of education (43.0%) or feeding students during closure (33.8%). The prevalence of continuity of education plans was lower in the Midwest than the Northeast (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] = 0.68; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.51-0.90). Presence of plans for feeding students was higher in high-poverty than low-poverty districts (aPR = 1.41; 95% CI: 1.01-1.99) and in large districts than small districts (aPR = 2.06; 95% CI: 1.37-3.09). CONCLUSIONS: Understanding factors associated with having comprehensive emergency plans could help decision makers to target assistance during the current COVID-19 pandemic and for future planning purposes.

11.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(27): 853-858, 2020 Jul 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-639430

ABSTRACT

During a pandemic, syndromic methods for monitoring illness outside of health care settings, such as tracking absenteeism trends in schools and workplaces, can be useful adjuncts to conventional disease reporting (1,2). Each month, CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) monitors the prevalence of health-related workplace absenteeism among currently employed full-time workers in the United States, overall and by demographic and occupational subgroups, using data from the Current Population Survey (CPS).* This report describes trends in absenteeism during October 2019-April 2020, including March and April 2020, the period of rapidly accelerating transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Overall, the prevalence of health-related workplace absenteeism in March and April 2020 were similar to their 5-year baselines. However, compared with occupation-specific baselines, absenteeism among workers in several occupational groups that define or contain essential critical infrastructure workforce† categories was significantly higher than expected in April. Significant increases in absenteeism were observed in personal care and service§ (includes child care workers and personal care aides); healthcare support¶; and production** (includes meat, poultry, and fish processing workers). Although health-related workplace absenteeism remained relatively unchanged or decreased in other groups, the increase in absenteeism among workers in occupational groups less able to avoid exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (3) highlights the potential impact of COVID-19 on the essential critical infrastructure workforce because of the risks and concerns of occupational transmission of SARS-CoV-2. More widespread and complete collection of occupational data in COVID-19 surveillance is required to fully understand workers' occupational risks and inform intervention strategies. Employers should follow available recommendations to protect workers' health.


Subject(s)
Absenteeism , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Occupations/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Sick Leave/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , United States/epidemiology
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