Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 70
Filter
1.
BMC Genomics ; 23(1): 260, 2022 Apr 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775310

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused global disruption of human health and activity. Being able to trace the early outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 within a locality can inform public health measures and provide insights to contain or prevent viral transmission. Investigation of the transmission history requires efficient sequencing methods and analytic strategies, which can be generally useful in the study of viral outbreaks. METHODS: The County of Los Angeles (hereafter, LA County) sustained a large outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). To learn about the transmission history, we carried out surveillance viral genome sequencing to determine 142 viral genomes from unique patients seeking care at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Health System. 86 of these genomes were from samples collected before April 19, 2020. RESULTS: We found that the early outbreak in LA County, as in other international air travel hubs, was seeded by multiple introductions of strains from Asia and Europe. We identified a USA-specific strain, B.1.43, which was found predominantly in California and Washington State. While samples from LA County carried the ancestral B.1.43 genome, viral genomes from neighboring counties in California and from counties in Washington State carried additional mutations, suggesting a potential origin of B.1.43 in Southern California. We quantified the transmission rate of SARS-CoV-2 over time, and found evidence that the public health measures put in place in LA County to control the virus were effective at preventing transmission, but might have been undermined by the many introductions of SARS-CoV-2 into the region. CONCLUSION: Our work demonstrates that genome sequencing can be a powerful tool for investigating outbreaks and informing the public health response. Our results reinforce the critical need for the USA to have coordinated inter-state responses to the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Genomics , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(7): 1166-1173, 2022 Apr 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706028

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Sentiments of vaccine hesitancy and distrust in public health institutions have complicated the government-led coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine control strategy in the United States. As the first to receive the vaccine, COVID-19 vaccine attitudes among frontline workers are consequential for COVID-19 control and public opinion of the vaccine. METHODS: In this study, we used a repeated cross-sectional survey administered at 3 time points between 24 September 2020 and 6 February 2021 to a cohort of employees of the University of California, Los Angeles Health and the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The primary outcome of interest was COVID-19 vaccination intent and vaccine uptake. RESULTS: Confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine uptake rose significantly over time. At survey 1, confidence in vaccine protection was 46.4% among healthcare workers (HCWs) and 34.6% among first responders (FRs); by survey 3, this had risen to 90.0% and 75.7%, respectively. At survey 1, about one-third of participants intended to receive a vaccine as soon as possible. By survey 3, 96.0% of HCWs and 87.5% of FRs had received a COVID-19 vaccine. CONCLUSIONS: Attitudes toward vaccine uptake increased over the study period, likely a result of increased public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines, targeted communications, a COVID-19 winter surge in Los Angeles County, and ease of access from employer-sponsored vaccine distribution.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Personnel , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Vaccination
3.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 71(6): 217-223, 2022 Feb 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687590

ABSTRACT

In mid-December 2021, the B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, surpassed the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant as the predominant strain in California.§ Initial reports suggest that the Omicron variant is more transmissible and resistant to vaccine neutralization but causes less severe illness compared with previous variants (1-3). To describe characteristics of patients hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infection during periods of Delta and Omicron predominance, clinical characteristics and outcomes were retrospectively abstracted from the electronic health records (EHRs) of adults aged ≥18 years with positive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) SARS-CoV-2 test results admitted to one academic hospital in Los Angeles, California, during July 15-September 23, 2021 (Delta predominant period, 339 patients) and December 21, 2021-January 27, 2022 (Omicron predominant period, 737 patients). Compared with patients during the period of Delta predominance, a higher proportion of adults admitted during Omicron predominance had received the final dose in a primary COVID-19 vaccination series (were fully vaccinated) (39.6% versus 25.1%), and fewer received COVID-19-directed therapies. Although fewer required intensive care unit (ICU) admission and invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), and fewer died while hospitalized during Omicron predominance, there were no significant differences in ICU admission or IMV when stratified by vaccination status. Fewer fully vaccinated Omicron-period patients died while hospitalized (3.4%), compared with Delta-period patients (10.6%). Among Omicron-period patients, vaccination was associated with lower likelihood of ICU admission, and among adults aged ≥65 years, lower likelihood of death while hospitalized. Likelihood of ICU admission and death were lowest among adults who had received a booster dose. Among the first 131 Omicron-period hospitalizations, 19.8% of patients were clinically assessed as admitted for non-COVID-19 conditions. Compared with adults considered likely to have been admitted because of COVID-19, these patients were younger (median age = 38 versus 67 years) and more likely to have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (84.6% versus 61.0%). Although 20% of SARS-CoV-2-associated hospitalizations during the period of Omicron predominance might be driven by non-COVID-19 conditions, large numbers of hospitalizations place a strain on health systems. Vaccination, including a booster dose for those who are fully vaccinated, remains critical to minimizing risk for severe health outcomes among adults with SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity
4.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 71(5): 177-181, 2022 Feb 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1675343

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as well as severe COVID-19-associated outcomes in real-world conditions (1,2). The risks for SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19-associated hospitalization are lower among fully vaccinated than among unvaccinated persons; this reduction is even more pronounced among those who have received additional or booster doses (boosters) (3,4). Although the B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant spreads more rapidly than did earlier SARS-CoV-2 variants, recent studies suggest that disease severity is lower for Omicron compared with that associated with the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant; but the high volume of infections is straining the health care system more than did previous waves (5).*,† The Los Angeles County (LAC) Department of Public Health (LACDPH) used COVID-19 surveillance and California Immunization Registry 2 (CAIR2) data to describe age-adjusted 14-day cumulative incidence and hospitalization rates during November 7, 2021-January 8, 2022, by COVID-19 vaccination status and variant predominance. For the 14-day period ending December 11, 2021, the last week of Delta predominance, the incidence and hospitalization rates among unvaccinated persons were 12.3 and 83.0 times, respectively, those of fully vaccinated persons with a booster and 3.8 and 12.9 times, respectively, those of fully vaccinated persons without a booster. These rate ratios were lower during Omicron predominance (week ending January 8, 2022), with unvaccinated persons having infection and hospitalization rates 3.6 and 23.0 times, respectively, those of fully vaccinated persons with a booster and 2.0 and 5.3 times, respectively, those of fully vaccinated persons without a booster. In addition, during the entire analytic period, admission to intensive care units (ICUs), intubation for mechanical ventilation, and death were more likely to occur among unvaccinated persons than among fully vaccinated persons without or with a booster (p<0.001). Incidence and hospitalization rates were consistently highest for unvaccinated persons and lowest for fully vaccinated persons with a booster. Being up to date with COVID-19 vaccination is critical to protecting against SARS-CoV-2 infection and associated hospitalization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Incidence , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Young Adult
5.
J Infect Dis ; 225(3): 367-373, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1672201

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of current or past coronavirus disease 2019 in skilled nursing facility (SNF) residents is unknown because of asymptomatic infection and constrained testing capacity early in the pandemic. We conducted a seroprevalence survey to determine a more comprehensive prevalence of past coronavirus disease 2019 in Los Angeles County SNF residents and staff members. METHODS: We recruited participants from 24 facilities; participants were requested to submit a nasopharyngeal swab sample for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and a serum sample for detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. All participants were cross-referenced with our surveillance database to identify persons with prior positive SARS-CoV-2 results. RESULTS: From 18 August to 24 September 2020, we enrolled 3305 participants (1340 residents and 1965 staff members). Among 856 residents providing serum samples, 362 (42%) had current or past SARS-CoV-2 infection. Of the 346 serology-positive residents, 199 (58%) did not have a documented prior positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR result. Among 1806 staff members providing serum, 454 (25%) had current or past SARS-CoV-2 infection. Of the 447 serology-positive staff members, 353 (79%) did not have a documented prior positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR result. CONCLUSIONS: Past testing practices and policies missed a substantial number of SARS-CoV-2 infections in SNF residents and staff members.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Health Personnel , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Skilled Nursing Facilities
6.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(2): 271-277, 2022 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662113

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused one of the worst pandemics in recent history. Few reports have revealed that SARS-CoV-2 was spreading in the United States as early as the end of January. In this study, we aimed to determine if SARS-CoV-2 had been circulating in the Los Angeles (LA) area at a time when access to diagnostic testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was severely limited. METHODS: We used a pooling strategy to look for SARS-CoV-2 in remnant respiratory samples submitted for regular respiratory pathogen testing from symptomatic patients from November 2019 to early March 2020. We then performed sequencing on the positive samples. RESULTS: We detected SARS-CoV-2 in 7 specimens from 6 patients, dating back to mid-January. The earliest positive patient, with a sample collected on January 13, 2020 had no relevant travel history but did have a sibling with similar symptoms. Sequencing of these SARS-CoV-2 genomes revealed that the virus was introduced into the LA area from both domestic and international sources as early as January. CONCLUSIONS: We present strong evidence of community spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the LA area well before widespread diagnostic testing was being performed in early 2020. These genomic data demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 was being introduced into Los Angeles County from both international and domestic sources in January 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies
7.
Occup Environ Med ; 79(5): 315-318, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650704

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We estimate the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among a sample of firefighters in the Los Angeles (LA), California fire department in October 2020 and compare demographic and contextual factors for seropositivity. METHODS: We conducted a serological survey of firefighters in LA, California, USA, in October 2020. Individuals were classified as seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 if they tested positive for IgG, IgM or both. We compared demographic and contextual factors for seropositivity. RESULTS: All firefighters in LA, California, USA were invited to participate in our study, but only roughly 21% participated. Of 713 participants with valid serological data, 8.8% tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, and among the 686 with complete survey data 8.9% tested positive for antibodies. Seropositivity was not associated with gender, age or race/ethnicity. Seropositivity was highest among firefighters who reported working in the vicinity of LA International Airport, which had a known outbreak in July 2020. CONCLUSIONS: Seroprevalence among firefighters in our sample was 8.8%, however, we lack a full workplace seroprevalence estimate to compare the relative magnitude against general population seroprevalence (15%). Workplace safety protocols, such as access to personal protective equipment and testing, can mitigate increased risk of infection at work, and may have eliminated differences in disease burden by geography and race/ethnicity in our sample.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Firefighters , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
9.
BMJ ; 376: o113, 2022 01 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1627514
10.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(5152): 1773-1777, 2021 Dec 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593939

ABSTRACT

On July 12, 2021, the California Department of Public Health updated COVID-19 school guidance, allowing a Test to Stay (TTS) strategy to increase access to in-person learning* (1). The TTS strategy enabled unvaccinated students, exposed in school to a person infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), to remain in school while under quarantine, if both the infected person and the exposed person wore masks correctly and consistently throughout the exposure. To stay in school during the quarantine period, the exposed student must remain asymptomatic, wear a mask at school, and undergo twice weekly testing for SARS-CoV-2. To date, few studies have evaluated the impact of TTS on transmission (2-4). This study evaluated a TTS strategy implemented by Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LAC DPH). During September 20-October 31, 2021, among 78 school districts, one half permitted TTS; in total, 432 (21%) of 2,067 schools adopted TTS. TTS schools did not experience increases in COVID-19 incidence among students after TTS implementation, and in 20 identified outbreaks in TTS schools,† no tertiary transmission was identified. The ratio of student COVID-19 incidence in TTS districts to that in non-TTS districts was similar before and after TTS adoption (rate ratio = 0.5). Non-TTS schools lost an estimated 92,455 in-person school days during September 20-October 31 while students were in quarantine, compared with no lost days among quarantined students in TTS schools. Non-TTS schools cited resource-related reasons for not adopting TTS; 75% of these schools were in LAC's most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Preliminary data from LAC suggest that a school-based TTS strategy does not increase school transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and might greatly reduce loss of in-person school days; however, TTS might have barriers to implementation and require resources that are not available for some schools. Continued efforts to simplify school quarantine strategies might help to ensure that all students have access to safe in-person education. Although vaccination remains the leading public health recommendation to protect against COVID-19 for persons aged ≥5 years, schools might consider TTS as an option for allowing students with a school exposure who are not fully vaccinated to remain in the classroom as an alternative to home quarantine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/prevention & control , Quarantine/methods , Schools , Students , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Environmental Exposure , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Masks
11.
Clin Med Res ; 19(4): 161-168, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581439

ABSTRACT

Objective: Characterization of COVID-19 in the Latinx community is necessary for guiding public health initiatives, health system policy, clinical management practices, and improving outcomes. Our aim was to describe the socioeconomic background and clinical profile of patients with COVID-19 at a large public hospital in Los Angeles to improve health disparities leading to poor outcomes during the pandemic.Design, Setting and Participants: A single center retrospective cross-sectional study of all patients with a positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) who presented to Los Angeles County (LAC)+University of Southern California (USC) Medical Center between March 15, 2020 and April 30, 2020.Methods: We describe patient characteristics, socioeconomic factors, laboratory findings, and outcomes of the first 278 patients to present to LAC+USC Medical Center with COVID-19.Results: Patients self-identified as Hispanic (82.4%) or non-Hispanic (17.6%). Hispanic patients presented later from symptom onset (6 days vs 3 days, P = 0.027) and had higher post-intubation mortality (40.9% vs. 33.3%, P = 1), intensive care unit (ICU) mortality (31.1% vs. 22.2%, P = 0.87), and overall mortality (11.1% vs 10.2%, P = 1). However, the difference in admission rates, mechanical ventilation rates, and overall mortality rates were not statistically significant. A majority of patients, 275/278 (98.9%), reported residency ZIP codes in areas of higher population density, higher percentage of Latinx, born outside the United States, lower median income, and lower high school graduation rate when compared to the rest of Los Angeles County. Regression analysis within the Hispanic cohort found that age, history of hypertension, history of diabetes, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were predictors of mechanical ventilation and mortality.Conclusion: We show the Latinx community has been disproportionally affected by the pandemic in Los Angeles and we identified multiple socioeconomic and clinical characteristics that predispose this population to COVID-19 infection. This study highlights the need for change in local and national strategies to protect vulnerable communities during public health outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
12.
Transl Behav Med ; 12(3): 480-485, 2022 03 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550587

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mask wearing mitigates the spread of COVID-19; however, many individuals have not adopted the protective behavior. PURPOSE: We examine mask wearing behavior during the height of the pandemic in Los Angeles County, and its association with COVID-19 testing and willingness to get vaccinated. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey using representative sampling between December 2020 and January 2021, through an online platform targeting Los Angeles County residents. Survey items include demographic characteristics, health conditions, access to health care, mask wearing, COVID-19 testing, exposure risk factors, and willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccine. We performed logistic regression models to examine factors associated with always mask wearing. RESULTS: Of the analytic sample (n = 1,984), 75.3% reported always wearing a face mask when leaving home. Being a female, Asian or African American, or non-Republican resident, or having higher education, having poor or fair health, having a regular doctor, knowing someone hospitalized for COVID-19, and being willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine were associated with always wearing a mask. Residents who were younger, had a highest risk health condition, and had ≥2 COVID-19 tests had lower odds of always mask wearing. CONCLUSION: Mask wearing guidelines are easing; however, as vaccination rates plateau and new virus variants emerge, mask wearing remains an important tool to protect vulnerable populations. Encouraging protective measures among younger adults, those with less education, republicans, men, and White residents-groups that are least likely to be vaccinated or wear a mask-may be critical to reducing transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e2970-e2975, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501032

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To highlight geographic differences and the socio-structural determinants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) test positivity within Los Angeles County (LAC). METHODS: A geographic information system was used to integrate, map, and analyze SARS-CoV-2 testing data reported by the LAC Department of Public Health and data from the American Community Survey. Structural determinants included race/ethnicity, poverty, insurance status, education, and population and household density. We examined which factors were associated with positivity rates, using a 5% test positivity threshold, with spatial analysis and spatial regression. RESULTS: Between 1 March and 30 June 2020 there were 843 440 SARS-CoV-2 tests and 86 383 diagnoses reported, for an overall positivity rate of 10.2% within the study area. Communities with high proportions of Latino/a residents, those living below the federal poverty line, and with high household densities had higher crude positivity rates. Age- adjusted diagnosis rates were significantly associated with the proportion of Latino/as, individuals living below the poverty line, and population and household density. CONCLUSIONS: There are significant local variations in test positivity within LAC and several socio-structural determinants contribute to ongoing disparities. Public health interventions, beyond shelter in place, are needed to address and target such disparities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , United States
15.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(7): e1850-e1854, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455255

ABSTRACT

Across the world, healthcare workers (HCW) are at a greater risk of infection by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to the nature of their work. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LAC DPH) set out to understand the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare facilities and HCWs by tracking and analyzing data from case-patient interviews of HCWs. As of 31 May, over 3 months into the pandemic, nearly 5500 positive HCWs were reported to LAC DPH, representing 9.6% of all cases. Cases reported working in 27 different setting types, including outpatient medical offices, correctional facilities, emergency medical services, and so forth, with the highest proportion from long-term care facilities (46.6%) and hospitals (27.7%). Case patients included both clinical and nonclinical roles, with nearly half (49.4%) of positive HCWs being nurses. Over two-thirds of HCWs (68.6%) worked at some point during their infectious period, and nearly half (47.9%) reported a known exposure to a positive patient and/or coworker within their facility. Overall, compared to all LAC cases, HCWs reported lower rates of hospitalization (5.3% vs 12.2%) and death (0.7% vs 4.3%) from COVID-19. There are many factors that increase HCWs risk of infection, including high-risk work environment, limited supply of personal protective equipment, and even pressure to help and work during a pandemic. In response to these data, LAC DPH created resources and provided guidance for healthcare facilities to best protect their patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Health Personnel , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
16.
J Immigr Minor Health ; 24(1): 65-77, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446184

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has disproportionally affected underrepresented minorities (URM) and low-income immigrants in the United States. The aim of the study is to examine the underlying vulnerabilities of Mexican immigrants in New York City (NYC) and Los Angeles (LA), its correspondence with area-level COVID-19 morbidity and mortality, and to document the role of trusted and culturally sensitive services offered during the pandemic through the Ventanillas de Salud (i.e. VDS, Health Windows) program. The study uses a mixed-methods approach including a cross-sectional survey of Mexican immigrants in LA and NYC collected in the Mexican Consulates at the onset of the pandemic, complemented with a georeferencing analysis and key informant interviews. Data suggested an increased vulnerability to COVID-19 given participants reported health status, health care profile and place of residence, which coincided with the georeferencing analysis. The key informant interviews confirmed the vulnerability of this population and the supporting role of VDS in helping immigrants navigate health systems and disseminate health information. Mexican immigrants had an increased vulnerability to COVID-19 at the individual, geographic and systemic levels. Trusted and culturally sensitive services are needed to overcome some of the barriers and risk factors that increase the vulnerability of URM and immigrant populations to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Transients and Migrants , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , New York City/epidemiology , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Determinants of Health , United States
17.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(35): 1220-1222, 2021 Sep 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1414162

ABSTRACT

In-person instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic concerns educators, unions, parents, students, and public health officials as they plan to create a safe and supportive learning environment for children and adolescents (1). Los Angeles County (LAC), the nation's largest county, has an estimated population of 10 million, including 1.7 million children and adolescents aged 5-17 years (2). LAC school districts moved to remote learning for some or all students in transitional kindergarten* through grade 12 (TK-12) schools during the 2020-21 school year (3). Schools that provided in-person instruction were required by LAC Health Officer orders to implement prevention measures such as symptom screening, masking, physical distancing, cohorting, and contact tracing (4). This analysis compares COVID-19 case rates in TK-12 schools among students and staff members who attended school in person with LAC case rates during September 2020-March 2021.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Residence Characteristics/statistics & numerical data , Schools/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
18.
Front Public Health ; 9: 660289, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403515

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected Latino adults aged 50 and older in California. Among adults aged 50-64, Latinos constitute approximately one-third (32%) of the population, but over half (52%) of COVID-19 cases, and more than two-thirds (64%) of COVID-related deaths as of June 2, 2021. These health disparities are also prevalent among Latinos 65 years and older who constitute 22% of the population, but 40% of confirmed COVID-19 cases and 50% of COVID-related deaths. Emergency medical services (EMS) are an essential component of the United States healthcare system and a vital sector in COVID-19 response efforts. Using data from the California Emergency Medical Services Information System (CEMSIS), this study examines racial and ethnic differences in respiratory distress related EMS calls among adults aged 50 and older in all counties except Los Angeles. This study compares the early pandemic period, January to June 2020, to the same time period in 2019. Between January and June 2019, Latinos aged 50 and older had statistically significantly lower odds of respiratory distress related EMS calls compared to Blacks, Asians, and Whites. During the early pandemic period, January to June 2020, Latinos aged 50 and older had statistically significantly lower odds of respiratory distress related EMS calls compared to Blacks but slightly higher odds compared to Whites. Differences by race/ethnicity and region were statistically significant. Understanding EMS health disparities is crucial to inform policies that create a more equitable prehospital care system for the heterogeneous population of middle aged and older adults.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
19.
Drug Alcohol Depend ; 228: 109028, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385420

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Opioid-related morbidity and mortality has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet specific information about the communities most affected remains unknown. Our objective is to evaluate decedent-level associations with an opioid-related death following the implementation of stay-at-home orders in Los Angeles County. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study used data from the L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner to identify opioid-related deaths in 2019 and 2020. We used logistic regression to analyze the change in opioid-related deaths following a 30-day washout period after the start of stay-at-home orders. Independent variables included decedent age, gender, race and ethnicity, heroin or fentanyl present at the time of death, census tract-level education, and a scheduled drug prescription in the year before death. RESULTS: Opioid-related deaths in L.A. County are most common in census tracts where a small percentage of the population has a Bachelor's degree. Following stay-at-home orders, Non-Hispanic Caucasian individuals had significantly more opioid-related deaths than Hispanic individuals (risk ratio (RR): 1.82 [95 % CI, 1.10-3.02]; P < 0.05) after adjusting for age, gender, and heroin or fentanyl use. Racial and ethnic differences in mortality were not explained by census tract-level education or recent scheduled drug prescriptions. DISCUSSION: There has been an alarming rise in opioid-related deaths in L.A. County during 2020. The increase in opioid-related overdose deaths following the onset of COVID-19 and related policies occurred most often among Non-Hispanic Caucasian individuals. Further research on this trend's underlying cause is needed to inform policy recommendations during these simultaneous public health crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
20.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(34): 1170-1176, 2021 Aug 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374687

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccines fully approved or currently authorized for use through Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration are critical tools for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic; however, even with highly effective vaccines, a proportion of fully vaccinated persons will become infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (1). To characterize postvaccination infections, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) used COVID-19 surveillance and California Immunization Registry 2 (CAIR2) data to describe age-adjusted infection and hospitalization rates during May 1-July 25, 2021, by vaccination status. Whole genome sequencing (WGS)-based SARS-CoV-2 lineages and cycle threshold (Ct) values from qualitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for two SARS-CoV-2 gene targets, including the nucleocapsid (N) protein gene region and the open reading frame 1 ab (ORF1ab) polyprotein gene region,* were reported for a convenience sample of specimens. Among 43,127 reported SARS-CoV-2 infections in Los Angeles County residents aged ≥16 years, 10,895 (25.3%) were in fully vaccinated persons, 1,431 (3.3%) were in partially vaccinated persons, and 30,801 (71.4%) were in unvaccinated persons. Much lower percentages of fully vaccinated persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 were hospitalized (3.2%), were admitted to an intensive care unit (0.5%), and required mechanical ventilation (0.2%) compared with partially vaccinated persons (6.2%, 1.0%, and 0.3%, respectively) and unvaccinated persons (7.6%, 1.5%, and 0.5%, respectively) (p<0.001 for all comparisons). On July 25, the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among unvaccinated persons was 4.9 times and the hospitalization rate was 29.2 times the rates among fully vaccinated persons. During May 1-July 25, the percentages of B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant infections estimated from 6,752 samples with lineage data increased among fully vaccinated persons (from 8.6% to 91.2%), partially vaccinated persons (from 0% to 88.1%), and unvaccinated persons (from 8.2% to 87.1%). In May, there were differences in median Ct values by vaccination status; however, by July, no differences were detected among specimens from fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, and unvaccinated persons by gene targets. These infection and hospitalization rate data indicate that authorized vaccines were protective against SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe COVID-19 during a period when transmission of the Delta variant was increasing. Efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccination, in coordination with other prevention strategies, are critical to preventing COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL