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1.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(12): e2140602, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597867

ABSTRACT

Importance: During the 2020-2021 academic year, many institutions of higher education reopened to residential students while pursuing strategies to mitigate the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission on campus. Reopening guidance emphasized polymerase chain reaction or antigen testing for residential students and social distancing measures to reduce the frequency of close interpersonal contact, and Connecticut colleges and universities used a variety of approaches to reopen campuses to residential students. Objective: To characterize institutional reopening strategies and COVID-19 outcomes in 18 residential college and university campuses across Connecticut. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study used data on COVID-19 testing and cases and social contact from 18 college and university campuses in Connecticut that had residential students during the 2020-2021 academic year. Exposures: Tests for COVID-19 performed per week per residential student. Main Outcomes and Measures: Cases per week per residential student and mean (95% CI) social contact per week per residential student. Results: Between 235 and 4603 residential students attended the fall semester across each of 18 institutions of higher education in Connecticut, with fewer residential students at most institutions during the spring semester. In census block groups containing residence halls, the fall student move-in resulted in a 475% (95% CI, 373%-606%) increase in mean contact, and the spring move-in resulted in a 561% (95% CI, 441%-713%) increase in mean contact compared with the 7 weeks prior to move-in. The association between test frequency and case rate per residential student was complex; institutions that tested students infrequently detected few cases but failed to blunt transmission, whereas institutions that tested students more frequently detected more cases and prevented further spread. In fall 2020, each additional test per student per week was associated with a decrease of 0.0014 cases per student per week (95% CI, -0.0028 to -0.00001). Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this cohort study suggest that, in the era of available vaccinations and highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants, colleges and universities should continue to test residential students and use mitigation strategies to control on-campus COVID-19 cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Universities , Adolescent , COVID-19/diagnosis , Connecticut/epidemiology , Female , Housing , Humans , Male , Mass Screening/methods , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Interaction , Young Adult
3.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(12): e2138464, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1567894

ABSTRACT

Importance: Persons experiencing homelessness (PEH) are at higher risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe illness due to COVID-19 because of a limited ability to physically distance and a higher burden of underlying health conditions. Objective: To describe and assess a hotel-based protective housing intervention to reduce incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among PEH in Chicago, Illinois, with increased risk of severe illness due to COVID-19. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study analyzed PEH who were provided protective housing in individual hotel rooms in downtown Chicago during the COVID-19 pandemic from April 2 through September 3, 2020. Participants were PEH at increased risk for severe COVID-19, defined as (1) aged at least 60 years regardless of health conditions, (2) aged at least 55 years with any underlying health condition posing increased risk, or (3) aged less than 55 years with any underlying health condition posing substantially increased risk (eg, HIV/AIDS). Exposures: Participants were housed in individual hotel rooms to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection; on-site health care workers provided daily symptom monitoring, regular SARS-CoV-2 testing, and care for chronic health conditions. Additional on-site services included treatment of mental health and substance use disorders and social services. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome measured was SARS-CoV-2 incidence, with SARS-Cov2 infection defined as a positive upper respiratory specimen using any polymerase chain reaction diagnostic assay authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration. Secondary outcomes were blood pressure control, glycemic control as measured by hemoglobin A1c, and housing placements at departure. Results: Of 259 participants from 16 homeless shelters in Chicago, 104 (40.2%) were aged at least 65 years, 190 (73.4%) were male, 185 (71.4%) were non-Hispanic Black, and 49 (18.9%) were non-Hispanic White. There was an observed reduction in SARS-CoV-2 incidence during the study period among the protective housing cohort (54.7 per 1000 people [95% CI, 22.4-87.1 per 1000 people]) compared with citywide rates for PEH residing in shelters (137.1 per 1000 people [95% CI, 125.1-149.1 per 1000 people]; P = .001). There was also an adjusted change in systolic blood pressure at a rate of -5.7 mm Hg (95% CI, -9.3 to -2.1 mm Hg) and hemoglobin A1c at a rate of -1.4% (95% CI, -2.4% to -0.4%) compared with baseline. More than half of participants (51% [n = 132]) departed from the intervention to housing of some kind (eg, supportive housing). Conclusions and Relevance: This cohort study found that protective housing was associated with a reduction in SARS-CoV-2 infection among high-risk PEH during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Chicago. These findings suggest that with appropriate wraparound supports (ie, multisector services to address complex needs), such housing interventions may reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, improve noncommunicable disease control, and provide a pathway to permanent housing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Homeless Persons , Housing , Noncommunicable Diseases , Program Evaluation , Adult , Aged , Blood Pressure , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing , Chicago , Chronic Disease , Female , Glycated Hemoglobin A/metabolism , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Noncommunicable Diseases/epidemiology , Noncommunicable Diseases/therapy , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Problems
4.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(12): e2137189, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1567892

ABSTRACT

Importance: COVID-19 posed an unprecedented threat to residential colleges in the fall of 2020. While there were mathematical models of COVID-19 transmission, there were no established or tested protocols of COVID-19 testing or mitigation for school administrators to follow. Objective: To investigate the association of a multifaceted COVID-19 mitigation strategy using social, behavioral, and educational interventions and a program of frequent testing with prevalence of disease spread. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study was conducted as a retrospective review of COVID-19 positivity from August 16, 2020, to April 30, 2021, at Delaware State University, a publicly funded historically Black university. Participants included all students, faculty, and staff members with a campus presence. Positivity rates after use of mitigation strategies and testing on campus were compared with those of the surrounding community. Data were analyzed from July through September 2021. Exposures: Mitigation strategies included education and outreach about social distancing, masking, and handwashing, and a COVID-19 testing plan consisted of twice-weekly polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening using anterior nasal samples (fall and early spring semester) and then saliva-based samples (middle to late spring semester). Main Outcomes and Measures: Cumulative tests, infections, daily quarantine, and isolation residence hall occupancy were measured, and comparisons were made with statewide COVID-19 positivity rates. Results: The campus cohort included 2320 individuals (1575 resident students, 415 nonresident students, and 330 faculty or staff members). There were 1488 (64.1%) women and 832 (35.9%) men; mean (SD) age was 27.5 (12.9) years. During the fall semester, 36 500 COVID-19 PCR tests were performed. Weekly positivity rates ranged from 0 of 372 tests to 16 of 869 tests (1.8%) (mean [SD] positivity rate, 0.5% [0.5%]; 168 positive results and 36 312 negative results). During the same period, statewide positivity ranged from 589 of 25 120 tests (2.3%) to 5405 of 54 596 tests (9.9%) (mean [SD] positivity rate, 4.8% [2.6%]). In the spring semester, 39 045 PCR tests were performed. Weekly positivity rates ranged from 4 of 2028 tests (0.2%) to 36 of 900 tests (4.0%) (mean [SD] positivity rate, 0.8% [0.9%]; 267 positive results and 38 767 negative results). During the same period, statewide positivity ranged from 1336 of 37 254 tests (3.6%) to 3630 of 42 458 tests (8.5%) (mean [SD] positivity rate, 5.1% [1.3%]). Compared with statewide rates, campus positivity rates were mean (SD) 4.4 (2.6) percentage points lower during the fall semester (P < .001) and mean (SD) 5.6 (1.6) percentage points lower during the spring semester (P < .001). Total daily quarantine and isolation residence hall occupancy ranged from 0 to 43 students in the fall and 1 to 47 students during the spring. Conclusions and Relevance: This study found that the combination of campuswide mitigation policies and twice-weekly COVID-19 PCR screening was associated with a significant decrease in COVID-19 positivity at a residential historically Black university campus compared with the surrounding community. Given the socioeconomic demographics of many students at historically Black colleges and universities, keeping these resident campuses open is critical not only to ensure access to educational resources, but also to provide housing and food security.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Health Education , Mass Screening/methods , Students , Universities , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Delaware/epidemiology , Female , Housing , Humans , Male , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Prevalence , Residence Characteristics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
5.
Am J Manag Care ; 27(10): 407-408, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1535194

ABSTRACT

Patients traveling for cancer treatment often incur financial burdens. The members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers should play a role in mitigating housing-associated costs for patients during cancer treatment.


Subject(s)
Housing , Neoplasms , Costs and Cost Analysis , Humans , Neoplasms/therapy
6.
J Health Care Poor Underserved ; 32(4): 2233-2238, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528710

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on non-sheltered homeless and housing-insecure individuals. This report details the development of a Chicago-based isolation shelter designed for people experiencing homelessness and recovering from COVID-19. The model is informative concerning the rapid development of services for people marginalized by the health care system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Homeless Persons , Housing , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
7.
J Health Care Poor Underserved ; 32(4): 1978-1994, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528709

ABSTRACT

Objectives . We investigated the association of pre-existing economic variables with COVID-19 infections and mortality in New York City. Methods . We combined ZIP code-level data from New York City's Department of Health with five-year American Community Survey data. We estimated ordinary least squares models of the prevalence of positive COVID-19 test results and deaths per 100,000 population. Results . We found ZIP codes with higher concentrations of residents living in crowded living quarters, employees in high-risk occupations, and employees commuting more than half an hour were positively and significantly associated with higher infection rates. Higher rates of crowded housing were also significantly and positively related to mortality rates, though the positive point estimates for the other two economic variables were not statistically significant. Conclusions . Economic factors such as working and living conditions beyond common measures such as poverty generate significant public health effects. Policymakers should consider these associations while designing and modifying public health policies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Housing , Humans , New York City/epidemiology , Poverty , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Front Public Health ; 9: 772236, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518583

ABSTRACT

Background: The mental health of racial/ethnic minorities in the U.S. has been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This study examined the extent to which disruptions in employment and housing, coronavirus-specific forms of victimization and racial bias independently and conjointly contributed to mental health risk among Asian, Black, and Latinx adults in the United States during the pandemic. Methods: This study reports on data from 401 Asian, Black, and Latinx adults (age 18-72) who participated in a larger national online survey conducted from October 2020-June 2021, Measures included financial and health information, housing disruptions and distress in response to employment changes, coronavirus related victimization distress and perceived increases in racial bias, depression and anxiety. Results: Asian participants had significantly higher levels of COVID-related victimization distress and perceived increases in racial bias than Black and Latinx. Young adults (<26 years old) were more vulnerable to depression, anxiety, and coronavirus victimization distress than older respondents. Having at least one COVID-related health risk, distress in response to changes in employment and housing disruptions, pandemic related victimization distress and perceived increases in racial bias were positively and significantly related to depression and anxiety. Structural equation modeling indicated COVID-related increases in racial bias mediated the effect of COVID-19 related victimization distress on depression and anxiety. Conclusions: COVID-19 has created new pathways to mental health disparities among racial/ethnic minorities in the U.S. by exacerbating existing structural and societal inequities linked to race. Findings highlight the necessity of mental health services sensitive to specific challenges in employment and housing and social bias experienced by people of color during the current and future health crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Crime Victims , Racism , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Employment , Housing , Humans , Mental Health , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
9.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 22055, 2021 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510617

ABSTRACT

THE AIMS: (i) analyze connectivity between subgroups of university students, (ii) assess which bridges of relational contacts are essential for connecting or disconnecting subgroups and (iii) to explore the similarities between the attributes of the subgroup nodes in relation to the pandemic context. During the COVID-19 pandemic, young university students have experienced significant changes in their relationships, especially in the halls of residence. Previous research has shown the importance of relationship structure in contagion processes. However, there is a lack of studies in the university setting, where students live closely together. The case study methodology was applied to carry out a descriptive study. The participation consisted of 43 university students living in the same hall of residence. Social network analysis has been applied for data analysis. Factions and Girvan-Newman algorithms have been applied to detect the existing cohesive subgroups. The UCINET tool was used for the calculation of the SNA measure. A visualization of the global network will be carried out using Gephi software. After applying the Girvan-Newman and Factions, in both cases it was found that the best division into subgroups was the one that divided the network into 4 subgroups. There is high degree of cohesion within the subgroups and a low cohesion between them. The relationship between subgroup membership and gender was significant. The degree of COVID-19 infection is related to the degree of clustering between the students. College students form subgroups in their residence. Social network analysis facilitates an understanding of structural behavior during the pandemic. The study provides evidence on the importance of gender, race and the building where they live in creating network structures that favor, or not, contagion during a pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Social Network Analysis , Social Networking , Female , Housing , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Students , Universities
10.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1888, 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477400

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Locally delivered, place-based public health interventions are receiving increasing attention as a way of improving health and reducing inequalities. However, there is limited evidence on their effectiveness. This umbrella review synthesises systematic review evidence of the health and health inequalities impacts of locally delivered place-based interventions across three elements of place and health: the physical, social, and economic environments. METHODS: Systematic review methodology was used to identify recent published systematic reviews of the effectiveness of place-based interventions on health and health inequalities (PROGRESS+) in high-income countries. Nine databases were searched from 1st January 2008 to 1st March 2020. The quality of the included articles was determined using the Revised Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews tool (R-AMSTAR). RESULTS: Thirteen systematic reviews were identified - reporting 51 unique primary studies. Fifty of these studies reported on interventions that changed the physical environment and one reported on changes to the economic environment. Only one primary study reported cost-effectiveness data. No reviews were identified that assessed the impact of social interventions. Given heterogeneity and quality issues, we found tentative evidence that the provision of housing/home modifications, improving the public realm, parks and playgrounds, supermarkets, transport, cycle lanes, walking routes, and outdoor gyms - can all have positive impacts on health outcomes - particularly physical activity. However, as no studies reported an assessment of variation in PROGRESS+ factors, the effect of these interventions on health inequalities remains unclear. CONCLUSIONS: Place-based interventions can be effective at improving physical health, health behaviours and social determinants of health outcomes. High agentic interventions indicate greater improvements for those living in greater proximity to the intervention, which may suggest that in order for interventions to reduce inequalities, they should be implemented at a scale commensurate with the level of disadvantage. Future research needs to ensure equity data is collected, as this is severely lacking and impeding progress on identifying interventions that are effective in reducing health inequalities. TRIAL REGISTRATION: PROSPERO CRD42019158309.


Subject(s)
Health Status Disparities , Public Health , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Exercise , Housing , Humans , Systematic Reviews as Topic
11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(20)2021 10 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470864

ABSTRACT

Adult cancer survivors have an increased prevalence of mental health comorbidities and other adverse late-effects interdependent with mental illness outcomes compared with the general population. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) heralds an era of renewed call for actions to identify sustainable modalities to facilitate the constructs of cancer survivorship care and health care delivery through physiological supportive domestic spaces. Building on the concept of therapeutic architecture, psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) indicators-with the central role in low-grade systemic inflammation-are associated with major psychiatric disorders and late effects of post-cancer treatment. Immune disturbances might mediate the effects of environmental determinants on behaviour and mental disorders. Whilst attention is paid to the non-objective measurements for examining the home environmental domains and mental health outcomes, little is gathered about the multidimensional effects on physiological responses. This exploratory review presents a first analysis of how addressing the PNI outcomes serves as a catalyst for therapeutic housing research. We argue the crucial component of housing in supporting the sustainable primary care and public health-based cancer survivorship care model, particularly in the psychopathology context. Ultimately, we illustrate a series of interventions aiming at how housing environmental attributes can trigger PNI profile changes and discuss the potential implications in the non-pharmacological treatment of cancer survivors and patients with mental morbidities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cancer Survivors , Neoplasms , Adult , Housing , Humans , Mental Health , Morbidity , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Psychoneuroimmunology , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(20)2021 10 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463680

ABSTRACT

The northern Italian region of Lombardy has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic since its arrival in Europe. However, there are only a few published studies of the possible influence of social and cultural factors on its prevalence in the general population. This cross-sectional study of the San Siro social-housing neighbourhood of Milan, which was carried about between 23 December 2020 and 19 February 2021, found that the prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antibodies in the population as a whole was 12.4% (253/2044 inhabitants), but there was a more than two-fold difference between non-Italians and Italians (23.3% vs. 9.1%). Multivariable analyses showed that being more than 50 years old, living in crowded accommodation, being a non-Italian, and having a low educational level were associated with higher odds of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test, whereas a higher level of education, retirement, and being a former or current cigarette smoker were inversely associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our findings are in line with previous observations indicating that a lower socio-economic status may be a risk factor for COVID-19 and show that non-Italians are disproportionately affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection. This suggests that public health policies should focus more on disadvantaged populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Services Accessibility , Housing , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prevalence
14.
Front Public Health ; 9: 708694, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463523

ABSTRACT

Two COVID-19 outbreaks occurred in residential buildings with overcrowded housing conditions in the city of Göttingen in Germany during May and June 2020, when COVID-19 infection incidences were low across the rest of the country, with a national incidence of 2.6/100,000 population. The outbreaks increased the local incidence in the city of Göttingen to 123.5/100,000 in June 2020. Many of the affected residents were living in precarious conditions and experienced language barriers. The outbreaks were characterized by high case numbers and attack rates among the residents, many asymptomatic cases, a comparatively young population, and substantial outbreak control measures implemented by local authorities. We analyzed national and local surveillance data, calculated age-, and gender-specific attack rates and performed whole genome sequencing analysis to describe the outbreak and characteristics of the infected population. The authorities' infection control measures included voluntary and compulsory testing of all residents and mass quarantine. Public health measures, such as the general closure of schools and a public space as well as the prohibition of team sports at local level, were also implemented in the district to limit the outbreaks locally. The outbreaks were under control by the end of June 2020. We describe the measures to contain the outbreaks, the challenges experienced and lessons learned. We discuss how public health measures can be planned and implemented through consideration of the needs and vulnerabilities of affected populations. In order to avoid coercive measures, barrier-free communication, with language translation when needed, and consideration of socio-economic circumstances of affected populations are crucial for controlling infectious disease transmission in an outbreak effectively and in a timely way.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks , Germany/epidemiology , Housing , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Am J Public Health ; 111(8): 1443-1447, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1456160

ABSTRACT

To investigate how heat-health behaviors changed in summer 2020 compared with previous summers, our community-academic partnership conducted telephone surveys to collect data on cooling behaviors, safety concerns, and preferences for cooling alternatives for 101 participants living in Alabama. Participants indicating they would visit cooling centers declined from 23% in previous summers to 10% in summer 2020. The use of cooling centers and other public spaces may be less effective in reducing heat-related illness because of safety concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic and police brutality.


Subject(s)
African Americans/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Behavior , Heat Stress Disorders/prevention & control , Hot Temperature , Residence Characteristics/statistics & numerical data , Alabama , COVID-19/psychology , Housing , Humans
16.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257693, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430551

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: LGBTQ2S youth are overrepresented among youth experiencing homelessness and experience significantly higher rates of mental health issues compared to heterosexual and cisgender youth. COVID-19 related challenges for LGBTQ2S youth experiencing homelessness remain unknown. To address this gap, this study aimed to understand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on LGBTQ2S youth at risk of, and experiencing, homelessness in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada and surrounding areas. METHODS: Utilizing a mixed-methods convergent parallel design, LGBTQ2S youth experiencing homelessness were recruited to participate in virtual surveys and in-depth one-on-one interviews. Surveys included standardized measures and were administered to measure mental health outcomes and collect information on demographic characteristics, and health service use. Survey data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and statistical tests for difference of proportions. Interviews were analyzed using an iterative thematic content approach. RESULTS: Sixty-one youth completed surveys and 20 youth participated in one-on-one interviews. Quantitative and qualitative data showed that youth have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in various ways, including experiencing poor mental health, such as suicidality, depression, anxiety, and increased substance use, and lack of access to health and social support services. CONCLUSION: Our study highlights the need for LGBTQ2S inclusive and affirming health care and support services for precariously housed adolescents to address the pre-existing social and health issues that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Homeless Persons/statistics & numerical data , Sexual and Gender Minorities/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Female , Housing/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Pandemics
17.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0230700, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430517

ABSTRACT

Weatherization of residential homes is a widespread procedure to retrofit older homes to improve the energy efficiency by reducing building leakage. Several studies have evaluated the effect of weatherization on indoor pollutants, such as formaldehyde, radon, and indoor particulates, but few studies have evaluated the effect of weatherization on indoor microbial exposure. Here, we monitored indoor pollutants and bacterial communities during reductions in building leakage for weatherized single-family residential homes in New York State and compared the data to non-weatherized homes. Nine weatherized and eleven non-weatherized single-family homes in Tompkins County, New York were sampled twice: before and after the weatherization procedures for case homes, and at least 3 months apart for control homes that were not weatherized. We found that weatherization efforts led to a significant increase in radon levels, a shift in indoor microbial community, and a warmer and less humid indoor environment. In addition, we found that changes in indoor airborne bacterial load after weatherization were more sensitive to shifts in season, whereas indoor radon levels were more sensitive to ventilation rates.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor , Case-Control Studies , Environmental Exposure , Environmental Monitoring , Housing , Humans , Radon , Ventilation
19.
J Food Sci ; 86(10): 4668-4677, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416247

ABSTRACT

Consumer testing assays a panel's liking of a food or other sensory stimulus. However, liking can be influenced by mood, with people feeling more uncomfortable, or more unhappy reporting lower liking ratings than those in a higher affect. Though consumer testing typically takes place as a central location test (CLT, usually in a set of standardized sensory booths), the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global pivot to home use tests (HUTs), where panelists can taste and smell samples unmasked more safely while in their own homes. Unfortunately, as this situation differs in many ways to a central location test, this puts the validity of longitudinal comparisons of liking scores under question. Further, as people across the globe report feelings of worry, unease, and stress during the pandemic, this may present a second source of variation in affect with previous years. We tested a set of snack bar samples both at home and in a central location, in repeated measures with the same panel, to test the validity of comparisons across locations. We further compared CLT results to those when testing the same samples in a previous year. Finally, we performed a meta-analysis of existing data on this subject. While liking behavior in CLTs did not differ between years, panelists rated some samples higher when in their own homes, in line with results from the meta-analysis of previous reports. Interestingly, panelists in the study also assigned fewer penalties in the HUT, implying a less analytical mindset when in the home. Results suggest that care should be taken when comparing results taken at home during the COVID-19 pandemic to those taken previously in a central location. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Consumer testing is applied in the food industry to evaluate a panelist's liking for a food product or stimulus. However, liking is also dependent on factors extrinsic to the samples tested. Thus, with the switch to in-home testing due to COVID-19, we compared liking scores from in-home and central locations testing, with higher scores common in HUTs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Consumer Behavior , Housing , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Food Preferences , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Middle Aged , Reproducibility of Results , Smell , Taste , Young Adult
20.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0255498, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1410655

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Overcrowded housing, as well as inadequate sanitary conditions, contribute to making homeless people particularly vulnerable to the SARS-CoV-2 infection. We aimed to assess the seroprevalence of the SARS-CoV-2 infection among people experiencing homelessness on a large city-wide scale in Marseille, France, taking into account different types of accommodation. METHODS: A consortium of outreach teams in 48 different locations including streets, slums, squats, emergency or transitional shelters and drop-in centres participated in the inclusion process. All participants consented to have a validated rapid antibody assay for immunoglobulins M (IgM) and G (IgG) and to answer a questionnaire on medical health conditions, comorbidities, and previous COVID-19 symptoms. Information on their housing conditions since the COVID-19 crisis was also collected from the participants. RESULTS: From June 01 to August 05, 2020, 1,156 homeless participants were enrolled in the study and tested. The overall seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgM antibodies was 5.6% (95%CI 2.3-7.0), ranging from 2.2% in people living on the streets to 8.1% in people living in emergency shelters (P = 0.009). Around one third of the seropositive participants reported COVID-19 symptoms. Compared to the general population in Marseille (3.6%), the homeless population living in the same urban area experienced a significantly increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection (|z| = 3.65 > 1.96). CONCLUSION: These findings highlight the need for regular screening among the homeless to prevent clustering in overcrowded or inadequate accommodations. It is also necessary to provide essential resources to keep homeless people healthy, the vast majority of whom have cumulative risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Homeless Persons/statistics & numerical data , Housing/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Epidemics/prevention & control , Female , France/epidemiology , Geography , Housing/standards , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Population Surveillance/methods , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies
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