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1.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(34): 1167-1169, 2021 Aug 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374686

ABSTRACT

During December 14, 2020-April 10, 2021, data from the HEROES-RECOVER Cohorts,* a network of prospective cohorts among frontline workers, showed that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were approximately 90% effective in preventing symptomatic and asymptomatic infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in real-world conditions (1,2). This report updates vaccine effectiveness (VE) estimates including all COVID-19 vaccines available through August 14, 2021, and examines whether VE differs for adults with increasing time since completion of all recommended vaccine doses. VE before and during SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant predominance, which coincided with an increase in reported COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infections, were compared (3,4).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Emergency Responders/statistics & numerical data , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cohort Studies , Humans , Time Factors , United States/epidemiology , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Vaccines, Synthetic
2.
J Occup Environ Med ; 63(3): 191-198, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1307590

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Define the seroprevalence and risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in Arapahoe County, Colorado first responders (eg, law enforcement, human services, fire departments). METHODS: Two hundred sixty four first responders were enrolled June to July 2020. SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity was defined as detection of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to both spike receptor binding domain and nucleocapsid in venous blood by validated enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We compared risk factors for being seropositive versus seronegative. RESULTS: 4% (11/264) were SARS-CoV-2 seropositive. Seropositive participants were significantly more likely to have lung disease (% seropositive, % seronegative; P-value) (36%, 8%; P = 0.01), prior SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 testing (36%, 8%; P ≤ 0.01), a prior positive result (18%, less than 1%), and to believe they previously had COVID-19 (64%, 15%; P < 0.01). Only 15% of those believing they had COVID-19 had anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. CONCLUSIONS: Human services employees and individuals with lung disease are at SARS-CoV-2 exposure risk. Few individuals believed they had COVID-19 had prior exposure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Responders/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Colorado/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroepidemiologic Studies
3.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(5): e26573, 2021 05 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1236646

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for first responders (eg, police, fire, and emergency medical services) and nonmedical essential workers (eg, workers in food, transportation, and other industries). Health systems may be uniquely suited to support these workers given their medical expertise, and mobile apps can reach local communities despite social distancing requirements. Formal evaluation of real-world mobile app-based interventions is lacking. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to evaluate the adoption, acceptability, and appropriateness of an academic medical center-sponsored app-based intervention (COVID-19 Guide App) designed to support access of first responders and essential workers to COVID-19 information and testing services. We also sought to better understand the COVID-19-related needs of these workers early in the pandemic. METHODS: To understand overall community adoption, views and download data of the COVID-19 Guide App were described. To understand the adoption, appropriateness, and acceptability of the app and the unmet needs of workers, semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted by telephone, by video, and in person with first responders and essential workers in the San Francisco Bay Area who were recruited through purposive, convenience, and snowball sampling. Interview transcripts and field notes were qualitatively analyzed and presented using an implementation outcomes framework. RESULTS: From its launch in April 2020 to September 2020, the app received 8262 views from unique devices and 6640 downloads (80.4% conversion rate, 0.61% adoption rate across the Bay Area). App acceptability was mixed among the 17 first responders interviewed and high among the 10 essential workers interviewed. Select themes included the need for personalized and accurate information, access to testing, and securing personal safety. First responders faced additional challenges related to interprofessional coordination and a "culture of heroism" that could both protect against and exacerbate health vulnerability. CONCLUSIONS: First responders and essential workers both reported challenges related to obtaining accurate information, testing services, and other resources. A mobile app intervention has the potential to combat these challenges through the provision of disease-specific information and access to testing services but may be most effective if delivered as part of a larger ecosystem of support. Differentiated interventions that acknowledge and address the divergent needs between first responders and non-first responder essential workers may optimize acceptance and adoption.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Responders/statistics & numerical data , Mobile Applications/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Internet-Based Intervention/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Needs Assessment , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
4.
BMC Emerg Med ; 21(1): 55, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1208680

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom included large scale changes to healthcare delivery, without fully understanding the potential for unexpected effects caused by these changes. The aim was "to ascertain the characteristics of patients, uncertainty over diagnosis, or features of the emergency response to the pandemic that could be modified to mitigate against future excess deaths". METHODS: Review of the entire pathway of care of patients whose death was registered in Salford during the 8 week period of the first wave (primary care, secondary care, 111 and 999 calls) in order to create a single record of healthcare prior to death. An expert panel judged avoidability of death against the National Mortality Case Record Review Programme scale. The panel identified themes using a structured judgement review format. RESULTS: There were 522 deaths including 197 in hospital, and 190 in care homes. 51% of patients were female, 81% Caucasian, age 79 ± 9 years. Dementia was present in 35%, COVID-19 was cause of death in 44%. Healthcare contact prior to death was most frequently with primary care (81% of patients). Forty-six patients (9%) had healthcare appointments cancelled (median 1 cancellation, range 1-9). Fewer than half of NHS 111 calls were answered during this period. 18% of deaths contained themes consistent with some degree of avoidability. In people aged ≥75 years who lived at home this was 53%, in care home residents 29% and in patients with learning disability 44% (n = 9). Common themes were; delays in patients presenting to care providers (10%), delays in testing (17%), avoidable exposure to COVID-19 (26%), delays in provider response (5%), and sub-optimal care (11%). For avoidability scores of 2 or 3 (indicating more than 50% chance of avoidability), 44% of cases had > 2 themes. CONCLUSIONS: The initial emergency response had unforeseen consequences resulting in late presentation, sub-optimal assessments, and delays in receiving care. Death in more vulnerable groups was more likely to display avoidability themes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Critical Pathways/organization & administration , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Emergency Responders/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , United Kingdom
5.
Health Secur ; 19(3): 327-337, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171384

ABSTRACT

Closed points of dispensing (PODs) are an essential component of local public health preparedness programs because most local public health agencies lack the infrastructure to distribute medical countermeasures to all community members in a short period of time through open PODs alone. However, no study has examined closed POD recruitment strategies or approaches to determine best practices, such as how to select or recruit an agency, group, or business to become a closed POD site once a potential partner has been identified. We conducted qualitative interviews with US disaster planners to identify their approaches and challenges to recruiting closed POD sites. In total, 16 disaster planners participated. Recruitment considerations related to selecting sites, paperwork needed, and challenges faced in recruiting closed POD sites. Important selection criteria for sites included size, agencies or businesses with vulnerable or confined populations who lack access or ability to get to or through open POD sites, and critical infrastructure organizations. Major challenges to recruitment included difficulty convincing sites of closed POD importance, obstacles with recruiting sites that can administer mass vaccination, and fear of legal repercussions related to medical countermeasure dispensing or administration. Closed POD recruitment is a frequently challenging but highly necessary process both before and during the current pandemic. These recommendations can be used by other disaster planners intending to start or expand their closed POD network. Public health agencies should continue working toward improved distribution plans for medical countermeasures, both oral and vaccine, to minimize morbidity and mortality during mass casualty events.


Subject(s)
Civil Defense/organization & administration , Disaster Planning/organization & administration , Emergency Responders/statistics & numerical data , Public Health Administration/standards , Bioterrorism/prevention & control , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Geography, Medical , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Qualitative Research , United States
6.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(13): 495-500, 2021 Apr 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1168280

ABSTRACT

Messenger RNA (mRNA) BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna) COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in randomized placebo-controlled Phase III trials (1,2); however, the benefits of these vaccines for preventing asymptomatic and symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection, particularly when administered in real-world conditions, is less well understood. Using prospective cohorts of health care personnel, first responders, and other essential and frontline workers* in eight U.S. locations during December 14, 2020-March 13, 2021, CDC routinely tested for SARS-CoV-2 infections every week regardless of symptom status and at the onset of symptoms consistent with COVID-19-associated illness. Among 3,950 participants with no previous laboratory documentation of SARS-CoV-2 infection, 2,479 (62.8%) received both recommended mRNA doses and 477 (12.1%) received only one dose of mRNA vaccine.† Among unvaccinated participants, 1.38 SARS-CoV-2 infections were confirmed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) per 1,000 person-days.§ In contrast, among fully immunized (≥14 days after second dose) persons, 0.04 infections per 1,000 person-days were reported, and among partially immunized (≥14 days after first dose and before second dose) persons, 0.19 infections per 1,000 person-days were reported. Estimated mRNA vaccine effectiveness for prevention of infection, adjusted for study site, was 90% for full immunization and 80% for partial immunization. These findings indicate that authorized mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are effective for preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection, regardless of symptom status, among working-age adults in real-world conditions. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all eligible persons.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Emergency Responders , Health Personnel , Occupational Diseases/prevention & control , Occupations/classification , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Emergency Responders/statistics & numerical data , Female , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , United States/epidemiology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Young Adult
7.
BMC Emerg Med ; 21(1): 39, 2021 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1158198

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is a major public health problem. Subsequently, emergency medical services (EMS) have anecdotally experienced fluctuations in demand, with reports across Canada of both increased and decreased demand. Our primary objective was to assess the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on call volumes for several determinants in Niagara Region EMS. Our secondary objective was to assess changes in paramedic-assigned patient acuity scores as determined using the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS). METHODS: We analyzed data from a regional EMS database related to call type, volume, and patient acuity for January to May 2016-2020. We used statistical methods to assess differences in EMS calls between 2016 and 2019 and 2020. RESULTS: A total of 114,507 EMS calls were made for the period of January 1 to May 26 between 2016 and 2020, inclusive. Overall, the incidence rate of EMS calls significantly decreased in 2020 compared to the total EMS calls in 2016-2019. Motor vehicle collisions decreased in 2020 relative to 2016-2019 (17%), while overdoses relatively increased (70%) in 2020 compared to 2016-2019. Calls for patients assigned a higher acuity score increased (CTAS 1) (4.1% vs. 2.9%). CONCLUSION: We confirmed that overall, EMS calls have decreased since the emergence of COVID-19. However, this effect on call volume was not consistent across all call determinants, as some call types rose while others decreased. These findings indicate that COVID-19 may have led to actual changes in emergency medical service demand and will be of interest to other services planning for future pandemics or further waves of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Responders/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Triage/statistics & numerical data , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emergency Medical Technicians/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Ontario , Patient Acuity , Urban Health Services/statistics & numerical data
8.
Public Health Rep ; 136(3): 315-319, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1093917

ABSTRACT

We aimed to describe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) deaths among first responders early in the COVID-19 pandemic. We used media reports to gather timely information about COVID-19-related deaths among first responders during March 30-April 30, 2020, and evaluated the sensitivity of media scanning compared with traditional surveillance. We abstracted information about demographic characteristics, occupation, underlying conditions, and exposure source. Twelve of 19 US public health jurisdictions with data on reported deaths provided verification, and 7 jurisdictions reported whether additional deaths had occurred; we calculated the sensitivity of media scanning among these 7 jurisdictions. We identified 97 COVID-19-related first-responder deaths during the study period through media and jurisdiction reports. Participating jurisdictions reported 5 deaths not reported by the media. Sixty-six decedents worked in law enforcement, and 31 decedents worked in fire/emergency medical services. Media reports rarely noted underlying conditions. The media scan sensitivity was 88% (95% CI, 73%-96%) in the subset of 7 jurisdictions. Media reports demonstrated high sensitivity in documenting COVID-19-related deaths among first responders; however, information on risk factors was scarce. Routine collection of data on industry and occupation could improve understanding of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality among all workers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Emergency Responders/statistics & numerical data , Mass Media , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
10.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(3): 796-804, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045534

ABSTRACT

We conducted a serologic survey in public service agencies in New York City, New York, USA, during May-July 2020 to determine prevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among first responders. Of 22,647 participants, 22.5% tested positive for SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies. Seroprevalence for police and firefighters was similar to overall seroprevalence; seroprevalence was highest in correctional staff (39.2%) and emergency medical technicians (38.3%) and lowest in laboratory technicians (10.1%) and medicolegal death investigators (10.8%). Adjusted analyses demonstrated association between seropositivity and exposure to SARS-CoV-2-positive household members (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 3.52 [95% CI 3.19-3.87]), non-Hispanic Black race or ethnicity (aOR 1.50 [95% CI 1.33-1.68]), and severe obesity (aOR 1.31 [95% CI 1.05-1.65]). Consistent glove use (aOR 1.19 [95% CI 1.06-1.33]) increased likelihood of seropositivity; use of other personal protective equipment had no association. Infection control measures, including vaccination, should be prioritized for frontline workers.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Responders/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , New York City/epidemiology , Obesity/epidemiology , Personal Protective Equipment , Prevalence , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
11.
J Occup Environ Med ; 63(3): 191-198, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-969079

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Define the seroprevalence and risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in Arapahoe County, Colorado first responders (eg, law enforcement, human services, fire departments). METHODS: Two hundred sixty four first responders were enrolled June to July 2020. SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity was defined as detection of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to both spike receptor binding domain and nucleocapsid in venous blood by validated enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We compared risk factors for being seropositive versus seronegative. RESULTS: 4% (11/264) were SARS-CoV-2 seropositive. Seropositive participants were significantly more likely to have lung disease (% seropositive, % seronegative; P-value) (36%, 8%; P = 0.01), prior SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 testing (36%, 8%; P ≤ 0.01), a prior positive result (18%, less than 1%), and to believe they previously had COVID-19 (64%, 15%; P < 0.01). Only 15% of those believing they had COVID-19 had anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. CONCLUSIONS: Human services employees and individuals with lung disease are at SARS-CoV-2 exposure risk. Few individuals believed they had COVID-19 had prior exposure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Responders/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Colorado/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroepidemiologic Studies
12.
J Psychiatr Res ; 137: 673-680, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-907191

ABSTRACT

The mental health of frontline workers is critical to a community's ability to manage crises and disasters. This study assessed risks for mental health problems (traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, alcohol use, insomnia) in association with pandemic-related stressors in a sample of emergency and hospital personnel (N = 571). Respondents completed self-report surveys online from April 1st to May 7th, 2020 in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. Results showed that roughly fifteen to thirty percent of respondents screened positive for each disorder. Odds of screening positive were similar between groups for probable acute traumatic stress, depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and alcohol use disorder; emergency personnel reported significantly higher rates of insufficient sleep than healthcare workers. Logistic regressions showed that respondents who reported having an immunocompromised condition had higher odds of acute traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression. Having an immunocompromised household member was associated with higher odds of insufficient sleep and anxiety. Being in a direct care provision role was associated with higher odds of screening positive for risky alcohol use. Being in a management role over direct care providers was associated with higher odds of screening positive for anxiety, risky alcohol use, and insufficient sleep. There was an inverse relationship between number of positive COVID-19 cases and anxiety, such that as positive cases went up, anxiety decreased. Overall, the mental health risks that we observed early in the COVID-19 pandemic are elevated above previous viral outbreaks (SARS) and comparable to rates shown in disasters (9/11 attacks; Hurricane Katrina).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Responders/psychology , Emergency Responders/statistics & numerical data , Health Personnel/psychology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Adult , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Anxiety Disorders/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depressive Disorder/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Psychological Trauma/epidemiology , Risk Assessment , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology
13.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 26(12): 2863-2871, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-781934

ABSTRACT

To estimate seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among healthcare, first response, and public safety personnel, antibody testing was conducted in emergency medical service agencies and 27 hospitals in the Detroit, Michigan, USA, metropolitan area during May-June 2020. Of 16,403 participants, 6.9% had SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. In adjusted analyses, seropositivity was associated with exposure to SARS-CoV-2-positive household members (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 6.18, 95% CI 4.81-7.93) and working within 15 km of Detroit (aOR 5.60, 95% CI 3.98-7.89). Nurse assistants (aOR 1.88, 95% CI 1.24-2.83) and nurses (aOR 1.52, 95% CI 1.18-1.95) had higher likelihood of seropositivity than physicians. Working in a hospital emergency department increased the likelihood of seropositivity (aOR 1.16, 95% CI 1.002-1.35). Consistently using N95 respirators (aOR 0.83, 95% CI 0.72-0.95) and surgical facemasks (aOR 0.86, 95% CI 0.75-0.98) decreased the likelihood of seropositivity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Responders/statistics & numerical data , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Personal Protective Equipment/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Michigan/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
15.
Public Health ; 183: 23-29, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-88347

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to define and delineate specific non-technical competencies for first-line public health responders in Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) emergencies in China. STUDY DESIGN: A qualitative study was conducted in China involving interviews with key informants in the field of health response to CBRN disasters. METHODS: One-on-one in-depth interviews were carried out with 20 participants, including expert members of National Medical Response Teams for CBRN disasters, officials at emergency management authorities, and scholars of academic institutions related to CBRN emergency. Interviews were recorded using audio equipment, transcribed, and coded into codable passages as per grounded theory using NVivo software. Themes were identified within the transcriptions by using thematic analysis. RESULTS: A total of 159 codable passages were produced. Eight domains of non-technical core competencies were identified: (1) situation awareness, (2) communication skills, (3) collaboration, (4) resource management, (5) task management, (6) cultural competency, (7) austere environment skills, and (8) physical stamina. CONCLUSIONS: The study identified a variety of competencies for on-scene public health responders in CBRN emergencies. The findings of this study could specifically benefit development of strategy and improvement of content of education and training. Further research that involves input from the disaster response community at large is needed for the validation of these competencies.


Subject(s)
Emergency Responders/psychology , Professional Competence , Public Health , Adult , Aged , China , Emergencies , Emergency Responders/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Middle Aged , Qualitative Research
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