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1.
American Journal of Public Health ; 112(5):736-746, 2022.
Article in English | CINAHL | ID: covidwho-1801755

ABSTRACT

Objectives. To characterize the experience and impact of pandemic-related workplace violence in the form of harassment and threats against public health officials. Methods. We used a mixed methods approach, combining media content and a national survey of local health departments (LHDs) in the United States, to identify harassment against public health officials from March 2020 to January 2021. We compared media-portrayed experiences, survey-reported experiences, and publicly reported position departures. Results. At least 1499 harassment experiences were identified by LHD survey respondents, representing 57% of responding departments. We also identified 222 position departures by public health officials nationally, 36% alongside reports of harassment. Public health officials described experiencing structural and political undermining of their professional duties, marginalization of their expertise, social villainization, and disillusionment. Many affected leaders remain in their positions. Conclusions. Interventions to reduce undermining, ostracizing, and intimidating acts against health officials are needed for a sustainable public health system. We recommend training leaders to respond to political conflict, improving colleague support networks, providing trauma-informed worker support, investing in long-term public health staffing and infrastructure, and establishing workplace violence reporting systems and legal protections. (Am J Public Health. 2022;112(5):736–746. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2021.306649)

2.
Preventive Medicine ; : 107067, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1796000

ABSTRACT

This study sought to examine public support for gun carrying-related policies from 2019 to 2021, a period encompassing the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing calls for racial and social justice. We conducted the National Survey of Gun Policy in January 2019 and 2021. The surveys were fielded using the NORC AmeriSpeak panel. Respondents indicated support for six policies regulating civilian gun carrying. Analyses, conducted in 2021, incorporated survey weights for nationally representative estimates. There were significant declines in support from 2019 to 2021 for two policies that would expand where civilians can lawfully carry guns: allowing concealed carry when on K-12 school grounds (23% in 2021 vs 31% in 2019) and college/university campuses (27% vs 36%). Support was also significantly lower for requiring concealed carry applicants to pass a test demonstrating safe and lawful use (74% in 2021 vs 81% in 2019). For the two new policies in the 2021 survey, more than half of respondents overall supported prohibiting open carry at demonstrations/rallies (54%) and prohibiting the carry of guns into government buildings (69%). There was lower support among gun owners (39% and 57%, respectively). Since 2019, there has been a decline in support for expanding locations for civilian gun carrying. Support remains high among U.S. adults, including the two-thirds of gun owners, for requiring concealed carry applicants to demonstrate competence in safe and lawful gun use. Our findings in support of a more regulated approach to concealed carry are in direct contrast to state-level shifts eliminating concealed gun carrying regulations.

5.
Int Rev Psychiatry ; 33(7): 593-597, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281793

ABSTRACT

We sought to characterize gun and ammunition purchasing during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic using a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. We fielded a survey using NORC's Amerispeak Panel between 7 and 22 July 2020 (survey completion rate = 91.1%, N = 1337). We used survey-weighted data to calculate the proportion of adults who purchased a gun during this time period and types of guns and amount of ammunition purchased. Between March and mid-July 2020, 6% of adults purchased a gun and 9% bought ammunition. Of those purchasing a gun, 34% were first-time purchasers. Among those purchasing ammunition, 19% reported purchasing more than usual in response to the COVID-19 pandemic while 27% purchased less than usual. An estimated 6,451,163 adults bought guns for the first time between March and mid-July 2020. Increases in gun purchasing, particularly among first-time gun owners, could pose significant short- and long-term implications for public health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Consumer Behavior , Firearms , Pandemics , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Consumer Behavior/statistics & numerical data , Firearms/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States/epidemiology
6.
Am J Prev Med ; 60(6): 840-844, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1095810

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Previous research has found COVID-19 cases to be disproportionately prevalent among U.S. prisoners. Similar to prisoners, prison staff experience ventilation and social distancing hazards and may have limited access to testing, paid sick leave, personal protective equipment, and other workplace protections. Yet, systematic case surveillance among prison staff remains unexplored. The objective of this study is to document the trends in COVID-19 cases among U.S. correctional staff relative to those among prisoners and the U.S. METHODS: Reports of COVID-19 cases among prisoners and staff were collected from state Departments of Corrections and the Federal Bureau of Prisons from March 31, 2020 to November 4, 2020. In November 2020, this series of aggregated case records was linked to population estimates to calculate COVID-19 period prevalence among prison staff and residents in comparison with the U.S. population trends. RESULTS: Within the prison environment, COVID-19 case burden was initially higher among staff than among prisoners in 89% of jurisdictions. Case prevalence escalated more quickly among prisoners but has remained persistently high among staff. By November 4, 2020, COVID-19 was 3.2 times more prevalent among prison staff than among the U.S. CONCLUSIONS: Prison staff experienced substantially higher COVID-19 case prevalence than the U.S. population overall. Across prison staff and resident populations, cases were rapidly rising in November 2020, indicating poor outbreak containment within the prison environment. An Emergency Temporary Standard, issued by federal and state Occupational Safety and Health Administrations, and priority vaccination are urgently needed to reduce COVID-19 occupational risk. Reduced occupational transmission of COVID-19 will benefit workers, incarcerated people, and community members alike.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Prisoners , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Prisons , SARS-CoV-2
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