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1.
Public Health Rep ; 136(2): 154-160, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024302

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: In June 2020, Arizona had the fastest-growing number of cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) worldwide. As part of the growing public health response, the University of Arizona Student Aid for Field Epidemiology Response (SAFER) team was able to modify and increase case investigation efforts to assist local health departments. We outline the recommended logistical and management steps to include students in a public health response of this scope. METHODS: From April 1 through September 1, 2020, the SAFER team identified key components of a successful student team response: volunteer training, management that allows more senior students to manage newer students, adoption of case-management software, and use of an online survey platform for students to conduct interviews consistently and allow for data quality control and management. RESULTS: From April 1 through September 1, 2020, SAFER worked with 3 local health departments to complete 1910 COVID-19 case investigations through a virtual call center. A total of 233 volunteers and 46 hourly student workers and staff members were involved. As of September 2020, students were completing >150 interviews per week, including contact-tracing efforts. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Developing relationships between applied public health and academic programs can relieve the burden of low-risk, high-volume case investigations at local and state health departments. Furthermore, by establishing a virtual call center, health sciences faculty and students can volunteer remotely during a pandemic with no additional risk of infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Contact Tracing , Epidemiology/education , Arizona/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Students, Medical , Surveys and Questionnaires , Volunteers
2.
Am J Epidemiol ; 190(7): 1183-1189, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-990554

ABSTRACT

In response to the threat posed by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many universities are encouraging or requiring online instruction. Teaching an epidemiology course online is different in many respects from teaching in person. In this article, we review specific approaches and strategies related to teaching epidemiology online during the pandemic and beyond, including a discussion of options for course format, grading and assessment approaches, pandemic-related contingencies, and the use of technology. Throughout this article we present practical, epidemiology-specific teaching examples. Moreover, we also examine 1) how the lessons learned about the practice of epidemiology during the pandemic can be integrated into the didactic content of epidemiology training programs and 2) whether epidemiologic pedagogy and teaching strategies should change in the long term, beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has served to heighten our awareness of concerns related to student health and safety, as well as issues of accessibility, equity, and inclusion. Our goal is to present a practical overview connecting pandemic-era online teaching with thoughts about the future of epidemiologic instruction.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Education, Distance/methods , Epidemiology/education , Internet , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Cell ; 182(6): 1366-1371, 2020 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-739789

ABSTRACT

Operation Outbreak (OO) is a Bluetooth-based simulation platform that teaches students how pathogens spread and the impact of interventions, thereby facilitating the safe reopening of schools. OO also generates data to inform epidemiological models and prevent future outbreaks. Before SARS-CoV-2 was reported, we repeatedly simulated a virus with similar features, correctly predicting many human behaviors later observed during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Computer Simulation , Computer-Assisted Instruction/methods , Contact Tracing/methods , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Epidemiology/education , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Humans , Mobile Applications , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Smartphone
4.
East Mediterr Health J ; 26(6): 626-629, 2020 Jun 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-634614

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic began as a cluster of reported cases of acute respiratory illness in China on 31 December 2019 and went on to spread with exponential growth across the globe. By the time it was characterized as a global pandemic on 11 March 2020, 17 of 22 countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) had reports of infected persons. EMR countries are particularly susceptible to such outbreaks due to the presence of globally interconnected markets; complex emergencies in more than half of the countries; religious mass gatherings that draw tens of millions of pilgrims annually; and variation in emergency care systems capacity and health systems performance within and between countries.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Emergency Medical Services/organization & administration , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Epidemiology/education , International Cooperation , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Public Health/education , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Policy , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Mediterranean Region/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Public Health Practice , SARS-CoV-2 , World Health Organization
5.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 6(1): e18503, 2020 03 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-18717

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the current COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020. Countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) have a high vulnerability and variable capacity to respond to outbreaks. Many of these countries addressed the need for increasing capacity in the areas of surveillance and rapid response to public health threats. Moreover, countries addressed the need for communication strategies that direct the public to actions for self- and community protection. This viewpoint article aims to highlight the contribution of the Global Health Development (GHD)/Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network (EMPHNET) and the EMR's Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETPs) to prepare for and respond to the current COVID-19 threat. GHD/EMPHNET has the scientific expertise to contribute to elevating the level of country alert and preparedness in the EMR and to provide technical support through health promotion, training and training materials, guidelines, coordination, and communication. The FETPs are currently actively participating in surveillance and screening at the ports of entry, development of communication materials and guidelines, and sharing information to health professionals and the public. However, some countries remain ill-equipped, have poor diagnostic capacity, and are in need of further capacity development in response to public health threats. It is essential that GHD/EMPHNET and FETPs continue building the capacity to respond to COVID-19 and intensify support for preparedness and response to public health emergencies.


Subject(s)
Capacity Building , Cooperative Behavior , Coronavirus Infections , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Epidemiology/education , Global Health , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Public Health Surveillance/methods , Public Health/education , Social Networking , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Civil Defense , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Epidemiology/standards , Health Promotion , Humans , Mediterranean Region , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Public Health/standards , Public Health Practice , SARS-CoV-2 , Workforce
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