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1.
J Public Health Manag Pract ; 28(1): 50-59, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612730

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) incidence rates are 2- to 5-fold higher among persons incarcerated in the United States than in the general population. PROGRAM OR POLICY: We describe an outbreak investigation of COVID-19 at a jail (jail A) in Alameda County during March 2020-March 2021. IMPLEMENTATION: To prevent COVID-19 cases among incarcerated persons and employees, staff at jail A and the county public health department worked to develop and recommend infection control measures implemented by jail A including, but not limited to, face covering use among incarcerated persons and staff; cohorting incarcerated persons at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 in dedicated housing units; quarantining all newly detained individuals for 14 days; and offering testing for all symptomatic incarcerated persons, newly incarcerated persons at day 2 and day 10, and all persons who resided in a housing unit where a COVID-19 case was detected. EVALUATION: A total of 571 COVID-19 cases were detected among incarcerated persons at jail A during March 2020-March 2021, which represented a total incidence of 280 per 1000 population, 5 times higher than the rate in Alameda County. Of the 571 cases among incarcerated persons, 557 (98%) were male; 415 (73%) were aged 18 to 40 years; 249 (44%) were Latino; and 180 (32%) were African American; 354 (62%) were not symptomatic; and 220 (39%) had no comorbidities. Less than 2% of infected incarcerated persons were hospitalized, and no deaths were reported. DISCUSSION: COVID-19 disproportionately impacted persons incarcerated at jail A, with higher numbers among Latinos and African Americans. Implementation of COVID-19 infection control and testing measures, and collaboration between public health, law enforcement, and health care providers may have, in part, led to reductions in morbidity and mortality associated with COVID-19 at jail A.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Jails , California/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Prisons , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
2.
Ann Agric Environ Med ; 28(4): 621-626, 2021 Dec 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1539027

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE: Due to the specificity of conditions in penitentiary establishments, there is an increased risk of rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus infections. In addition, there is a high prevalence of non-communicable chronic diseases among inmates, which increases the risk of the severe course of COVID-19. The objectives of the study are to present the number and percentage of officers and employees of the Prison Service (PS), and inmates quarantined and infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the period from March to the end of December 2020, as well as to present solutions aimed at limiting the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Information on the number of PS officers, employees and inmates quarantined and infected, as well as information on the solutions introduced by the Prison Service Management Bard,was obtained from the Ministry of Justice pursuant to the provisions of the Act on Access to Public Information. RESULTS: From1 March 2020 - 31 December 2020, the number of cases of infection detected among PS officers and employees was 3,666, and among inmates - 599. 97.7% of all cases among PS officers and employees and 93.8% among inmates were reported in the last 3 months of the year. CONCLUSIONS: The rapid introduction of solutions aimed at limiting the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and proper monitoring of the epidemic in penitentiary establishments resulted in a low number of infections in the period from March to the end of December 2020. Infections among PS officers and employees, as well as inmates, seem to be parallel to the epidemiological situation in the population of the entire country. Further analysis of the epidemic will confirm the impact of the measures taken on the incidence of COVID-19 among PS officers, employees and inmates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Jails , Prisons , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Poland/epidemiology
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 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501267

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The purpose of this paper is to summarize activities being undertaken by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe to prevent and control COVID-19 in and beyond prisons, activities specifically designed to increase information sharing and to support Member States, to comment on potential impacts of these initiatives at country-level responses and to underline the need for a rights-based approach to managing the pandemic, including the right to vaccination. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: The Health in Prisons Programme (HIPP) of the WHO Regional Office for Europe worked with partner organizations to review regularly the evidence on best practices in prison health and use it to inform policy recommendations at the global level. HIPP issued overarching guidance and specific tools to support implementation of measures to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 in prisons and other custodial settings. Moreover, to monitor the emergence of outbreaks, the HIPP developed a minimum data set for countries voluntarily to report COVID-19 cases and identify situations in need of direct support. FINDINGS: Since May 2020, the WHO has periodically received data from Member States, leading to the development of country-specific bulletins to support countries and, whenever appropriate, to organize virtual missions to further support ministries and public health bodies responsible for managing COVID-19 in prisons. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: The development of a specific set of indicators for prisons enables exploring data in a disaggregated manner. Monitoring response measures developed in prison enables judging their appropriateness to minimize the spread of SARS-CoV2 in prisons and alignment with guidance issued by the WHO.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Prisons , Communicable Disease Control , Europe , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , World Health Organization
6.
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
7.
Int J Prison Health ; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print)2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501265

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: New South Wales (NSW) correctional system houses 30% of prisoners in Australia and at this time has only had a single documented case of COVID-19 amongst its prisoner population. The coordinated response by Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network (The Network) undertaken with the support of NSW Ministry of Health, in partnership with Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW), Youth Justice and private jails has ensured that the NSW correctional system has remained otherwise COVID-free. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: A research study of how a range of partners which support the operations of NSW Correctional System developed an effective approach for the prevention a COVID-19 epidemic amongst its inmates. FINDINGS: Establishment of effective partnerships, early coordination of representatives from all aspects of the NSW correctional system, limited access to the correctional environment, reduced prison population and strict isolation of all new receptions have all contributed to maintaining this COVID-free status despite other NSW settings with similar risk profiles, such as aged care facilities and cruise ship arrivals, experiencing serious outbreaks. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS: Although Australia/New Zealand context of suppressed community infection rates for COVID-19 (which are approaching elimination in some jurisdictions) is in contrast to the situation in other parts of the world, the principles described in this paper will be useful to most other correctional systems. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: Modelling was used to underline our approach and reinforced the veracity of following this approach. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: The Network and CSNSW has been able to mount an effective, integrated response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been sustainable through the first peak of COVID-19 cases. This case study catalogues the process of developing this response and details each intervention implemented with inventive use of tables to demonstrate the impact of the range of interventions used.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Infection Control/organization & administration , Prisons/organization & administration , Adult , Female , Humans , Male , New South Wales/epidemiology , Organizational Case Studies , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Lancet Public Health ; 6(10): e701-e702, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1492869
10.
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
11.
Ir J Psychol Med ; 38(3): 232-233, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467012
12.
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
14.
Int J Prison Health ; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print)2021 10 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1447742

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The purpose of the paper was to conduct a legal-realist assessment of the South African prison system response to COVID-19. Severely congested and ill-resourced prison systems in Africa face unprecedented challenges amplified by COVID-19. South Africa has recorded the highest COVID-19 positivity rate in Africa and, on March 15th 2020, declared a national state of disaster. The first prison system case was notified on April 6th 2020. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: A legal-realist assessment of the South African prison system response to COVID-19 in the 12 months following initial case notification focused on the minimum State obligations to comply with human rights norms, and the extent to which human, health and occupational health rights of prisoners and staff were upheld during disaster measures. FINDINGS: A legal-realist account was developed, which revealed the indeterminate nature of application of South African COVID-19 government directives, ill-resourced COVID-19 mitigation measures, alarming occupational health and prison conditions and inadequate standards of health care in prisons when evaluated against the rule of law during State declaration of disaster. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: This legal-realist assessment is original by virtue of its unique evaluation of the South African prison system approach to tackling COVID-19. It acknowledged State efforts, policymaking processes and outcomes and how these operated within the prison system itself. By moving beyond the deleterious impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the already precarious South African prison system, the authors argue for rights assurance for those who live and work in its prisons, improved infrastructure and greater substantive equality of all deprived of their liberty in South Africa.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Prisons/legislation & jurisprudence , Prisons/standards , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Human Rights , Humans , Prisons/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(19)2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444213

ABSTRACT

Within the confinements of critical infrastructures, the COVID-19 pandemic is posing a series of challenges to Health Management. In the spotlight of highly contagious and quick spreading diseases within such enclosed facilities, whether it be a detention facility or otherwise, the health and safety of those living within its internment is paramount. This paper aims to highlight the specific challenges and the possible solutions to counteract this problem, starting from the lessons learnt from the Italian prison system case study. Following the general description of the available resources within the Italian prisons, the study aimed at specifically describing the first counteracting measures deployed by the Italian prison authorities during the first phase of the COVID-19 outbreak (February-July 2020). The aim was to propose an integrated plan capable of responding to a biological threat within the prisons. In particular, the study describes the actions and technical features that, in accordance with national and international legal frameworks and the relevant organisational bodies that run the Italian Prison Service, had been adopted in managing, right from the start, the COVID-19 pandemic until Summer 2020. Available information and data showed the ability of the prison administration to comply almost completely with WHO's technical and human rights recommendations and also, in successfully handling prison emergencies both in terms of the sick and the deceased in line with the epidemiological framework of the general population. In addition, the paper proposes a draft of guidelines that should involve the National Health Service and the Prison Service that are aimed at supporting the local prison facilities with drawing up their own biological incident contingency plans. An approved, legal, standardised plan could increase the awareness of prison managers. It could even increase their self-confidence, in particular, with regard to cases of dispute and their ability to respond to them. In fact, it is valuable and forward-thinking to be able to demonstrate that every endeavour has been taken and that 'certified' best practices have been put in place in accordance with the national standards.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Prisons , Emergencies , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine
17.
Euro Surveill ; 26(38)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438401

ABSTRACT

Prisons are high-risk settings for COVID-19 and present specific challenges for prevention and control. We describe a COVID-19 outbreak in a large prison in Milan between 20 February and 30 April 2020. We performed a retrospective analysis of routine data collected during the COVID-19 emergency in prison. We analysed the spatial distribution of cases and calculated global and specific attack rates (AR). We assessed prevention and control measures. By 30 April 2020, 57 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 66 clinically probable cases were recorded among a population of 1,480. Global AR was 8.3%. The index case was a custodial officer. Two clusters were detected among custodial staff and healthcare workers. On 31 March, a confirmed case was identified among detained individuals. COVID-19 spread by physical proximity or among subgroups with cultural affinity, resulting in a cluster of 22 confirmed cases. Following index case identification, specific measures were taken including creation of a multidisciplinary task-force, increasing diagnostic capacity, contact tracing and dedicated isolation areas. Expanded use of personal protective equipment, environmental disinfection and health promotion activities were also implemented. Outbreaks of COVID-19 in prison require heightened attention and stringent comprehensive measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Prisons , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
18.
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
19.
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
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