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Elife ; 92020 08 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2155740


We conducted voluntary Covid-19 testing programmes for symptomatic and asymptomatic staff at a UK teaching hospital using naso-/oro-pharyngeal PCR testing and immunoassays for IgG antibodies. 1128/10,034 (11.2%) staff had evidence of Covid-19 at some time. Using questionnaire data provided on potential risk-factors, staff with a confirmed household contact were at greatest risk (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 4.82 [95%CI 3.45-6.72]). Higher rates of Covid-19 were seen in staff working in Covid-19-facing areas (22.6% vs. 8.6% elsewhere) (aOR 2.47 [1.99-3.08]). Controlling for Covid-19-facing status, risks were heterogenous across the hospital, with higher rates in acute medicine (1.52 [1.07-2.16]) and sporadic outbreaks in areas with few or no Covid-19 patients. Covid-19 intensive care unit staff were relatively protected (0.44 [0.28-0.69]), likely by a bundle of PPE-related measures. Positive results were more likely in Black (1.66 [1.25-2.21]) and Asian (1.51 [1.28-1.77]) staff, independent of role or working location, and in porters and cleaners (2.06 [1.34-3.15]).

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Hospitals, Teaching/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Risk , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 742, 2022 04 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1789111


BACKGROUND: Daily testing using a rapid Lateral Flow Device (LFD) has been suggested as an alternative to self-isolation. A randomised trial comparing daily contact testing (DCT) in schools with self-isolation found that SARS-CoV-2 transmission within school was comparable and low in both groups. However, if this approach is to be adopted widely, it is critical that we understand the perspective of those who will be delivering and receiving DCT. The aim of this qualitative process study embedded in the randomised controlled trial (RCT) was to improve understanding of a range of behavioural factors that could influence implementation. METHODS: Interviews were conducted with 63 participants, including staff, students, and parents of students who had been identified as being in close contact with someone with COVID-19. The topic guide explored perceptions of daily testing, understanding of positive and negative test results, and adherence to guidance. Data were analysed using an inductive thematic approach. RESULTS: Results were organised under three main headings: (1) factors influencing daily testing (2) interpretation of test results (3) behaviour during testing period. Participants recognized that daily testing may allow students to remain in school, which was viewed as necessary for both education and social needs. Whilst some felt safer as a result of daily testing, others raised concerns about safety. Participants did not always understand how to interpret and respond to test results, and although participants reported high levels of adherence to the guidance, improved communications were desired. CONCLUSION: Daily testing may be a feasible and acceptable alternative to self-isolation among close contacts of people who test positive. However, improved communications are needed to ensure that all students and parents have a good understanding of the rationale for testing, what test results mean, how test results should be acted on, and how likely students are to test positive following close contact. Support is needed for students and parents of students who have to self-isolate and for those who have concerns about the safety of daily testing.

COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Feasibility Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools
Lancet ; 398(10307): 1217-1229, 2021 10 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1428616


BACKGROUND: School-based COVID-19 contacts in England have been asked to self-isolate at home, missing key educational opportunities. We trialled daily testing of contacts as an alternative to assess whether this resulted in similar control of transmission, while allowing more school attendance. METHODS: We did an open-label, cluster-randomised, controlled trial in secondary schools and further education colleges in England. Schools were randomly assigned (1:1) to self-isolation of school-based COVID-19 contacts for 10 days (control) or to voluntary daily lateral flow device (LFD) testing for 7 days with LFD-negative contacts remaining at school (intervention). Randomisation was stratified according to school type and size, presence of a sixth form, presence of residential students, and proportion of students eligible for free school meals. Group assignment was not masked during procedures or analysis. Coprimary outcomes in all students and staff were COVID-19-related school absence and symptomatic PCR-confirmed COVID-19, adjusted for community case rates, to estimate within-school transmission (non-inferiority margin <50% relative increase). Analyses were done on an intention-to-treat basis using quasi-Poisson regression, also estimating complier average causal effects (CACE). This trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry, ISRCTN18100261. FINDINGS: Between March 18 and May 4, 2021, 204 schools were taken through the consent process, during which three decided not to participate further. 201 schools were randomly assigned (control group n=99, intervention group n=102) in the 10-week study (April 19-May 10, 2021), which continued until the pre-appointed stop date (June 27, 2021). 76 control group schools and 86 intervention group schools actively participated; additional national data allowed most non-participating schools to be included in analysis of coprimary outcomes. 2432 (42·4%) of 5763 intervention group contacts participated in daily contact testing. There were 657 symptomatic PCR-confirmed infections during 7 782 537 days-at-risk (59·1 per 100 000 per week) in the control group and 740 during 8 379 749 days-at-risk (61·8 per 100 000 per week) in the intervention group (intention-to-treat adjusted incidence rate ratio [aIRR] 0·96 [95% CI 0·75-1·22]; p=0·72; CACE aIRR 0·86 [0·55-1·34]). Among students and staff, there were 59 422 (1·62%) COVID-19-related absences during 3 659 017 person-school-days in the control group and 51 541 (1·34%) during 3 845 208 person-school-days in the intervention group (intention-to-treat aIRR 0·80 [95% CI 0·54-1·19]; p=0·27; CACE aIRR 0·61 [0·30-1·23]). INTERPRETATION: Daily contact testing of school-based contacts was non-inferior to self-isolation for control of COVID-19 transmission, with similar rates of symptomatic infections among students and staff with both approaches. Infection rates in school-based contacts were low, with very few school contacts testing positive. Daily contact testing should be considered for implementation as a safe alternative to home isolation following school-based exposures. FUNDING: UK Government Department of Health and Social Care.

COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Quarantine/methods , Schools , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Child , Educational Personnel , England , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult