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1.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(5152): 1782-1784, 2021 Dec 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594423

ABSTRACT

The B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) was first detected in specimens collected on November 11, 2021, in Botswana and on November 14 in South Africa;* the first confirmed case of Omicron in the United States was identified in California on December 1, 2021 (1). On November 29, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services was notified of six probable cases† of COVID-19 in one household, including one case in a man aged 48 years (the index patient) who had recently returned from Nigeria. Given the patient's travel history, Omicron infection was suspected. Specimens from all six persons in the household tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing on December 1, and the following day genomic sequencing by the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory identified an identical Omicron genotype from each specimen (Figure). Phylogenetic analysis was conducted to determine if this cluster represented an independent introduction of Omicron into the United States, and a detailed epidemiologic investigation was conducted. This activity was reviewed by CDC and was conducted consistent with applicable federal law and CDC policy.§.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Cluster Analysis , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nebraska/epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Travel-Related Illness
2.
J Genet Couns ; 30(5): 1233-1243, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453604

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the delivery of genetics services. In response to the pandemic, our genetics department offered telehealth visits to all outpatients, regardless of their physical proximity to Omaha, Nebraska. Traditionally, our department did not offer telehealth visits to patient's homes or to patients who lived in close proximity to a genetics clinic. Therefore, we designed a survey to gain insight into the patient experience with remote genetic counseling appointments during the pandemic. Any patient referred to see a genetics provider in pediatrics, prenatal, adult, or cancer between March 16, 2020 and October 28, 2020 was eligible for the study. The survey included both quantitative and qualitative measures to assess patient demographics, patient experience, stressors during the COVID-19 pandemic, and anxiety and depression. We hypothesized that patients would report they received quality care by telehealth despite the presence of COVID-19-related stressors or anxiety/depression. From the 143 survey participants, 80% had their first telehealth appointment during the pandemic. The vast majority (96%) reported that they felt like they received quality care by telehealth. Additionally, more than 93% of participants strongly or somewhat agreed that their genetic providers were attentive to their emotional needs, medical needs, and privacy. Since March 2020, participants reported experiencing several COVID-19-related stressors including fear of illness (86%), feelings of isolation (45%), and safety concerns (33%). Relatively low levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms were recorded using the HADS questionnaire. Despite the prevalence of COVID-19 stressors, depression, and/or anxiety, our participants felt they received quality care via telehealth. In fact, 51% agree that they prefer to receive future genetics services virtually. These results suggest the value of telehealth as an alternative service delivery model, even for local patients, and should be offered for future appointments, beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Adult , Child , Female , Genetic Counseling , Humans , Nebraska/epidemiology , Pandemics , Patient Outcome Assessment , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(4): 1032-1038, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085129

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has severely impacted the meat processing industry in the United States. We sought to detail demographics and outcomes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infections among workers in Nebraska meat processing facilities and determine the effects of initiating universal mask policies and installing physical barriers at 13 meat processing facilities. During April 1-July 31, 2020, COVID-19 was diagnosed in 5,002 Nebraska meat processing workers (attack rate 19%). After initiating both universal masking and physical barrier interventions, 8/13 facilities showed a statistically significant reduction in COVID-19 incidence in <10 days. Characteristics and incidence of confirmed cases aligned with many nationwide trends becoming apparent during this pandemic: specifically, high attack rates among meat processing industry workers, disproportionately high risk of adverse outcomes among ethnic and racial minority groups and men, and effectiveness of using multiple prevention and control interventions to reduce disease transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Food-Processing Industry , Infection Control , Meat-Packing Industry , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Food-Processing Industry/methods , Food-Processing Industry/organization & administration , Food-Processing Industry/trends , Humans , Incidence , Infection Control/instrumentation , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/organization & administration , Male , Meat-Packing Industry/methods , Meat-Packing Industry/organization & administration , Meat-Packing Industry/trends , Minority Health/statistics & numerical data , Nebraska/epidemiology , Occupational Health/standards , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Workplace/standards
5.
Prev Chronic Dis ; 17: E81, 2020 08 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-713111

ABSTRACT

The Student Response Team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center answered the statewide call to assist local health departments during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. As a voluntary student-led effort, the SRT assisted health departments to conduct contact tracing, monitor social media, and educate the public. Their experience demonstrates how students can increase the public health surge capacity of local health departments while gaining applied experience during public health emergencies. This call-to-action commentary proposes that SRTs should be formed, trained, and deployed through academic institutions across the nation and the globe, during and beyond the current pandemic.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Pandemics , Public Health , Students/statistics & numerical data , Universities/statistics & numerical data , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections , Humans , Nebraska/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Media
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