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2.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(1): e2143407, 2022 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1620077

ABSTRACT

Importance: People experiencing incarceration (PEI) and people experiencing homelessness (PEH) have an increased risk of COVID-19 exposure from congregate living, but data on their hospitalization course compared with that of the general population are limited. Objective: To compare COVID-19 hospitalizations for PEI and PEH with hospitalizations among the general population. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional analysis used data from the Premier Healthcare Database on 3415 PEI and 9434 PEH who were evaluated in the emergency department or were hospitalized in more than 800 US hospitals for COVID-19 from April 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021. Exposures: Incarceration or homelessness. Main Outcomes and Measures: Hospitalization proportions were calculated. and outcomes (intensive care unit admission, invasive mechanical ventilation [IMV], mortality, length of stay, and readmissions) among PEI and PEH were compared with outcomes for all patients with COVID-19 (not PEI or PEH). Multivariable regression was used to adjust for potential confounders. Results: In total, 3415 PEI (2952 men [86.4%]; mean [SD] age, 50.8 [15.7] years) and 9434 PEH (6776 men [71.8%]; mean [SD] age, 50.1 [14.5] years) were evaluated in the emergency department for COVID-19 and were hospitalized more often (2170 of 3415 [63.5%] PEI; 6088 of 9434 [64.5%] PEH) than the general population (624 470 of 1 257 250 [49.7%]) (P < .001). Both PEI and PEH hospitalized for COVID-19 were more likely to be younger, male, and non-Hispanic Black than the general population. Hospitalized PEI had a higher frequency of IMV (410 [18.9%]; adjusted risk ratio [aRR], 1.16; 95% CI, 1.04-1.30) and mortality (308 [14.2%]; aRR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.11-1.47) than the general population (IMV, 88 897 [14.2%]; mortality, 84 725 [13.6%]). Hospitalized PEH had a lower frequency of IMV (606 [10.0%]; aRR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.58-0.70) and mortality (330 [5.4%]; aRR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.47-0.59) than the general population. Both PEI and PEH had longer mean (SD) lengths of stay (PEI, 9 [10] days; PEH, 11 [26] days) and a higher frequency of readmission (PEI, 128 [5.9%]; PEH, 519 [8.5%]) than the general population (mean [SD] length of stay, 8 [10] days; readmission, 28 493 [4.6%]). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cross-sectional study, a higher frequency of COVID-19 hospitalizations for PEI and PEH underscored the importance of adhering to recommended prevention measures. Expanding medical respite may reduce hospitalizations in these disproportionately affected populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Homeless Persons/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Databases, Factual , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
4.
Ann Intern Med ; 174(10): 1472-1473, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526998
5.
Int J Prison Health ; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print)2021 03 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501269

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: This study aims to examine steps taken by correctional staff to prevent COVID-19 from spreading through correctional facilities and explores strategies used by incarcerated individuals to reduce their own risk of contracting COVID-19 during confinement. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: Data were drawn from interviews with 327 individuals incarcerated after March 16, 2020, in Midwest1, Midwest2 and Southeast state using a questionnaire developed for this purpose. All study participants were actively involved in a randomized controlled trial of a behavioral health reentry intervention and the human subjects board approved the supplement of this study on COVID-19; interviews were conducted from April 15 to November 19, 2020. FINDINGS: Overall, 9.89% of participants contracted COVID-19. Most (68.50%) individuals learned about COVID-19 from television compared to official correctional facility announcements (32.42%). Participants wore face masks (85.02%), washed hands (84.40%) and practiced physical distancing when possible (66.36%). Participants reported that facilities suspended visitation (89.60%) and volunteers (82.57%), provided face masks (83.18%), sanitized (68.20%), conducted temperature checks (55.35%) and released individuals early (7.34%). SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS: Longitudinal observational study on the implementation and effectiveness of public health guidelines in prisons and jails may identify best practices for containing the infectious disease. Maximizing transparent communications, as well as COVID-19 prevention and mitigation efforts, are critical to achieving universal best practices for virus containment and amplifying public health. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: Data presented indicate the early adoption of many Centers for Disease Control guidelines by individuals and correctional facilities, although broad variation existed. Data support the identification of containment strategies for feasible implementation in a range of correctional spaces.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Correctional Facilities , Guideline Adherence , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Interviews as Topic , Prisoners/psychology , Adult , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Female , Guidelines as Topic , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States , World Health Organization
6.
Int J Prison Health ; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print)2021 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501268

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus and subsequent COVID-19 illness has had a major impact on all levels of society internationally. The extent of the impact of COVID-19 on prison staff and prisoners in England and Wales is unknown. Testing for COVID-19 both asymptomatic and symptomatic, as well as for antibodies, to date, has been minimal. The purpose of this paper is to explore the widespread testing of COVID-19 in prisons poses philosophical and ethical questions around trust, efficacy and ethicacy. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: This paper is both descriptive, providing an overview of the widespread testing of COVID-19 in prisoners in England and Wales, and conceptual in that it discusses and argues the issues associated with large-scale testing. This paper provides a discussion, using comparative studies, of the issues associated with large-scale testing of prisoners across the prison estate in England and Wales (120 prisons). The issues identified in this paper are contextualised through the lens of COVID-19, but they are equally transferrable to epidemiological studies of any pandemic. Given the prevalence of COVID-19 globally and the lack of information about its spread in prisons, at the time of writing this paper, there is a programme of asymptomatic testing of prisoners. However, there remains a paucity of data on the spread of COVID-19 in prisons because of the progress with the ongoing testing programme. FINDINGS: The authors argue that the widespread testing of prisoners requires careful consideration of the details regarding who is included in testing, how consent is gained and how tests are administered. This paper outlines and argues the importance of considering the complex nuance of power relationships within the prison system, among prisoner officers, medical staff and prisoners and the detrimental consequences. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: The widespread testing of COVID-19 presents ethical and practical challenges. Careful planning is required when considering the ethics of who should be included in COVID-19 testing, how consent will be gained, who and how tests will be administered and very practical challenges around the recording and assigning of COVID-19 test kits inside the prison. The current system for the general population requires scanning of barcodes and registration using a mobile number; these facilities are not permitted inside a prison. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: This paper looks at the issues associated with mass testing of prisoners for COVID-19. According to the authors' knowledge, there has not been any research that looks at the issues of testing either in the UK or internationally. The literature available details countries' responses to the pandemic rather and scientific papers on the development of vaccines. Therefore, this paper is an original review of some of the practicalities that need to be addressed to ensure that testing can be as successful as possible.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Prisoners , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing/ethics , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Trust , Wales/epidemiology
7.
Int J Prison Health ; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print)2021 08 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501266

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: In this work, the authors present some of the key results found during early efforts to model the COVID-19 outbreak inside a UK prison. In particular, this study describes outputs from an idealised disease model that simulates the dynamics of a COVID-19 outbreak in a prison setting when varying levels of social interventions are in place, and a Monte Carlo-based model that assesses the reduction in risk of case importation, resulting from a process that requires incoming prisoners to undergo a period of self-isolation prior to admission into the general prison population. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: Prisons, typically containing large populations confined in a small space with high degrees of mixing, have long been known to be especially susceptible to disease outbreaks. In an attempt to meet rising pressures from the emerging COVID-19 situation in early 2020, modellers for Public Health England's Joint Modelling Cell were asked to produce some rapid response work that sought to inform the approaches that Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) might take to reduce the risk of case importation and sustained transmission in prison environments. FINDINGS: Key results show that deploying social interventions has the potential to considerably reduce the total number of infections, while such actions could also reduce the probability that an initial infection will propagate into a prison-wide outbreak. For example, modelling showed that a 50% reduction in the risk of transmission (compared to an unmitigated outbreak) could deliver a 98% decrease in total number of cases, while this reduction could also result in 86.8% of outbreaks subsiding before more than five persons have become infected. Furthermore, this study also found that requiring new arrivals to self-isolate for 10 and 14 days prior to admission could detect up to 98% and 99% of incoming infections, respectively. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS: In this paper we have presented models which allow for the studying of COVID-19 in a prison scenario, while also allowing for the assessment of proposed social interventions. By publishing these works, the authors hope these methods might aid in the management of prisoners across additional scenarios and even during subsequent disease outbreaks. Such methods as described may also be readily applied use in other closed community settings. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: These works went towards informing HMPPS on the impacts that the described strategies might have during COVID-19 outbreaks inside UK prisons. The works described herein are readily amendable to the study of a range of addition outbreak scenarios. There is also room for these methods to be further developed and built upon which the timeliness of the original project did not permit.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Disaster Planning/organization & administration , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Prisons/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Forecasting , Health Personnel/education , Humans , United Kingdom
9.
Int J Prison Health ; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print)2021 05 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467474

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: In this paper, the authors present insights and findings drawn from the authors' experiences of containing a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak in a large prison in northern Italy.Within penitentiaries, close-quarter living is ripe terrain for outbreaks of disease among detainees and staff. If left unchecked, these outbreaks can easily spill over the prison walls to threaten the general public. Moreover, these risks are heightened by preexisting environmental conditions, especially overcrowding. It is thus paramount to establish effective protocols for prevention, early detection and outbreak management. The purpose of this article is to document a strategy that been at least partially successful in reducing the damage that could potentially be caused by a sustained SARS-CoV-2 outbreak within a correctional facility. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: The authors conducted a retrospective analysis on patients' and health-care workers' medical records to obtain demographic and clinical information. Descriptive data analysis was then carried out. FINDINGS: In total, the authors tested 453 people with oropharyngeal swabs from March 15, 2020, to June 30, 2020. Of these people, 58 were positive and 395 were negative, with a prevalence of 12.8%.Of the 453 patients, 60 were health workers: 24 tested positive for SARS-CoV2 ribonucleic acid (RNA); 18 developed symptoms; and three needed hospitalization.Among patients in detention, 34 resulted positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Two were hospitalized and later died. Both had severe preexisting conditions; they were aged 76 and 59 years old, respectively. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: In this study, the authors describe the design and effective implementation of prevention and containment measures against SARS-CoV-2 within the walls of a correctional facility. The authors describe how they rapidly created clean confinement sections to isolate cases in an environment designed for security at the expense of virus containment and how educational efforts have played a vital role in their strategy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Infection Control/organization & administration , Prisons/organization & administration , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , Female , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors
10.
Ir J Psychol Med ; 38(3): 232-233, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467012
11.
Am J Public Health ; 111(8): 1534-1541, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1456158

ABSTRACT

Objectives. To empirically evaluate the relationship between presence of a state or federal prison and COVID-19 case and death counts. Methods. We merged data on locations of federal and state prisons and of local and county jails with daily case and death counts in the United States. We used a selection-on-observables design to estimate the correlation between prisons and COVID-19 spread, controlling for known correlates of COVID-19. Results. We found empirical evidence that the presence and capacities of prisons are strong correlates of county-level COVID-19 case counts. The presence of a state or federal prison in a county corresponded with a 9% increase in the COVID-19 case count during the first wave of the pandemic, ending July 1, 2020. Conclusions. Our results suggest that the public health implications of these facilities extend beyond the health of employees and incarcerated individuals, and policymakers should explicitly consider the public health concerns posed by these facilities when developing pandemic-response policy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Prisons/statistics & numerical data , Humans , United States
12.
Int J Infect Dis ; 104: 510-525, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454176

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) are substantial public health threats in the region of Central Asia and the Caucasus, where the prevalence of these infections is currently rising. METHODS: A systematic review of MEDLINE, Embase and PsycINFO was conducted with no publication date or language restrictions through October 2019. Additional data were also harvested from national surveillance reports, references found in discovered sources, and other "grey" literature. It included studies conducted on high-risk populations (people who inject drugs (PWID), female sex workers (FSW), men who have sex with men (MSM), prisoners, and migrants) in Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan; and the Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Northern Caucasus region of the Russian Federation. RESULTS: Wide ranges were noted for HIV prevalence: PWID 0-30.1%, MSM 0-25.1%, prisoners 0-22.8%, FSW 0-10.0%, and migrants 0.06-1.5%, with the highest prevalence of these high-risk groups reported in Kazakhstan (for PWID), Georgia (for MSM and prisoners) and Uzbekistan (for migrants). HCV prevalence also had a wide range: PWID 0.3-92.1%, MSM 0-18.9%, prisoners 23.8-49.7%, FSW 3.3-17.8%, and migrants 0.5-26.5%, with the highest prevalence reported in Georgia (92.1%), Kyrgyzstan (49.7%), and migrants from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (26.5%). Similarly, HBV prevalence had a wide range: PWID 2.8-79.7%, MSM 0-22.2%, prisoners 2.7-6.2%, FSW 18.4% (one study), and migrants 0.3-15.7%. CONCLUSION: In Central Asia and the Caucasus, prevalence of HIV, HCV and HBV remains exceedingly high among selected populations, notably PWID and MSM.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections/epidemiology , Hepatitis B/epidemiology , Hepatitis C/epidemiology , Asia, Central/epidemiology , Female , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Male , Prevalence , Prisoners , Risk Factors , Russia/epidemiology , Sex Workers , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Substance-Related Disorders/complications , Transcaucasia/epidemiology
15.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(38): 1349-1354, 2021 Sep 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436417

ABSTRACT

Incarcerated populations have experienced disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19-related illness and death compared with the general U.S. population, due in part to congregate living environments that can facilitate rapid transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and the high prevalence of underlying medical conditions associated with severe COVID-19 (1,2). The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant has caused outbreaks among vaccinated and unvaccinated persons in congregate settings and large public gatherings (3,4). During July 2021, a COVID-19 outbreak involving the Delta variant was identified in a federal prison in Texas, infecting 172 of 233 (74%) incarcerated persons in two housing units. The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) partnered with CDC to investigate. CDC analyzed data on infection status, symptom onset date, hospitalizations, and deaths among incarcerated persons. The attack rate was higher among unvaccinated versus fully vaccinated persons (39 of 42, 93% versus 129 of 185, 70%; p = 0.002).† Four persons were hospitalized, three of whom were unvaccinated, and one person died, who was unvaccinated. Among a subset of 70 persons consenting to an embedded serial swabbing protocol, the median interval between symptom onset and last positive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result in fully vaccinated versus unvaccinated persons was similar (9 versus 11 days, p = 0.37). One or more specimens were culture-positive from five of 12 (42%) unvaccinated and 14 of 37 (38%) fully vaccinated persons for whom viral culture was attempted. In settings where physical distancing is challenging, including correctional and detention facilities, vaccination and implementation of multicomponent prevention strategies (e.g., testing, medical isolation, quarantine, and masking) are critical to limiting SARS-CoV-2 transmission (5).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Prisons , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Texas/epidemiology , Young Adult
16.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(18)2021 Sep 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430857

ABSTRACT

Overcrowding can increase the risk of disease transmission, such as that of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), within United States prisons. The number of COVID-19 cases among prisoners is higher than that among the general public, and this disparity is further increased for prisoners of color. This report uses the example case of the COVID-19 pandemic to observe prison conditions and preventive efforts, address racial disparities for people of color, and guide structural improvements for sustaining inmate health during a pandemic in four select states: California, New York, Illinois, and Florida. To curb the further spread of COVID-19 among prisoners and their communities, safe public health practices must be implemented including providing personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing of staff and inmates, disseminating culturally and language appropriate information regarding the pandemic and preventive precautions, introducing social distancing measures, and ensuring adequate resources to safely reintegrate released prisoners into their communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Prisoners , Humans , Pandemics , Prisons , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
17.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(9): e2123405, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1391522

ABSTRACT

Importance: Mass incarceration is known to foster infectious disease outbreaks, amplification of infectious diseases in surrounding communities, and exacerbation of health disparities in disproportionately policed communities. To date, however, policy interventions intended to achieve epidemic mitigation in US communities have neglected to account for decarceration as a possible means of protecting public health and safety. Objective: To evaluate the association of jail decarceration and government anticontagion policies with reductions in the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study used county-level data from January to November 2020 to analyze COVID-19 cases, jail populations, and anticontagion policies in a panel regression model to estimate the association of jail decarceration and anticontagion policies with COVID-19 growth rates. A total of 1605 counties with data available on both jail population and COVID-19 cases were included in the analysis. This sample represents approximately 51% of US counties, 72% of the US population, and 60% of the US jail population. Exposures: Changes to jail populations and implementation of 10 anticontagion policies: nursing home visitation bans, school closures, mask mandates, prison visitation bans, stay-at-home orders, and closure of nonessential businesses, gyms, bars, movie theaters, and restaurants. Main Outcomes and Measures: Daily COVID-19 case growth rates. Results: In the 1605 counties included in this study, the mean (SD) prison population was 283.38 (657.78) individuals, and the mean (SD) population was 315.24 (2151.01) persons per square mile. An estimated 80% reduction in US jail populations, achievable through noncarceral management of nonviolent alleged offenses and in line with average international incarceration rates, would have been associated with a 2.0% (95% CI, 0.8%-3.1%) reduction in daily COVID-19 case growth rates. Jail decarceration was associated with 8 times larger reductions in COVID-19 growth rates in counties with above-median population density (4.6%; 95% CI, 2.2%- 7.1%) relative to those below this median (0.5%; 95% CI, 0.1%-0.9%). Nursing home visitation bans were associated with a 7.3% (95% CI, 5.8%-8.9%) reduction in COVID-19 case growth rates, followed by school closures (4.3%; 95% CI, 2.0%-6.6%), mask mandates (2.5%; 95% CI, 1.7%-3.3%), prison visitation bans (1.2%; 95% CI, 0.2%-2.2%), and stay-at-home orders (0.8%; 95% CI, 0.1%-1.6%). Conclusions and Relevance: Although many studies have documented that high incarceration rates are associated with communitywide health harms, this study is, to date, the first to show that decarceration is associated with population-level public health benefits. Its findings suggest that, among other anticontagion interventions, large-scale decarceration and changes to pretrial detention policies are likely to be important for improving US public health, biosecurity, and pandemic preparedness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Jails/organization & administration , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Cohort Studies , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
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