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1.
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
4.
JAMA Intern Med ; 181(10): 1315-1321, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347379

ABSTRACT

Importance: COVID-19 incidence and mortality are higher among incarcerated persons than in the general US population, but the extent to which prison crowding contributes to their COVID-19 risk is unknown. Objective: To estimate the associations between prison crowding, community COVID-19 transmission, and prison incidence rates of COVID-19. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a longitudinal ecological study among all incarcerated persons in 14 Massachusetts state prisons between April 21, 2020, and January 11, 2021. Exposures: The primary exposure of interest was prison crowding, measured by (1) the size of the incarcerated population as a percentage of the prison's design capacity and (2) the percentage of incarcerated persons housed in single-cell units. The analysis included the weekly COVID-19 incidence in the county where each prison is located as a covariate. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was the weekly COVID-19 incidence rate as determined by positive SARS-CoV-2 tests among incarcerated persons at each prison over discrete 1-week increments. Results: There was on average 6876 people incarcerated in 14 prisons during the study period. The median level of crowding during the observation period ranged from 25% to 155% of design capacity. COVID-19 incidence was significantly higher in prisons where the incarcerated population was a larger percentage of the prison's design capacity (incidence rate ratio [IRR] per 10-percentage-point difference, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.03-1.27). COVID-19 incidence was lower in prisons where a higher proportion of incarcerated people were housed in single-cell units (IRR for each 10-percentage-point increase in single-cell units, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.73-0.93). COVID-19 transmission in the surrounding county was consistently associated with COVID-19 incidence in prisons (IRR [for each increase of 10 cases per 100 000 person-weeks in the community], 1.06; 95% CI, 1.05-1.08). Conclusions and Relevance: This longitudinal ecological study found that within 14 Massachusetts state prisons, increased crowding was associated with increased incidence rates of COVID-19. Researchers and policy makers should explore strategies that reduce prison crowding, such as decarceration, as potential ways to mitigate COVID-19 morbidity and mortality among incarcerated persons.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Crowding , Prisons/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Incidence , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Massachusetts , Retrospective Studies
6.
Am J Public Health ; 111(6): 1099-1105, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186641

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is ravaging US prisons. Prison residents and staff must be prioritized for vaccination, but a rapidly mutating virus and high rates of continued spread require an urgent, coordinated public health response.Based on knowledge accumulated from the pandemic thus far, we have identified 10 pressing public health priorities for responding to COVID-19 in prisons: (1) accelerate population reduction coupled with community reentry support, (2) improve prison ventilation systems, (3) ensure appropriate mask use, (4) limit transfers between facilities, (5) strengthen partnerships between public health departments and prison leadership, (6) introduce or maintain effective occupational health programs, (7) ensure access to advance care planning processes for incarcerated patients and delineation of patient health care rights, (8) strengthen partnerships between prison leadership and incarcerated people, (9) provide emergency mental health support for prison residents and staff, and (10) commit to public accountability and transparency.Dedicated prison leaders cannot accomplish these public health priorities alone. We must mobilize prison leaders, staff, and residents; public health departments; community advocates; and policymakers to work together to address the pandemic's outsized impact in US prisons.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Priorities , Health Services Accessibility , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Prisons/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Mental Health Services , Public Health
9.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(4): 114-117, 2021 Jan 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112896

ABSTRACT

During September 3-November 16, 2020, daily confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) reported to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WDHS) increased at a rate of 24% per week, from a 7-day average of 674 (August 28-September 3) to 6,426 (November 10-16) (1). The growth rate during this interval was the highest to date in Wisconsin and among the highest in the United States during that time (1). To characterize potential sources of this increase, the investigation examined reported outbreaks in Wisconsin that occurred during March 4-November 16, 2020, with respect to their setting and number of associated COVID-19 cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Public Health Surveillance , Health Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , Laboratories , Long-Term Care , Prisons/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Universities/statistics & numerical data , Wisconsin/epidemiology
10.
J Correct Health Care ; 27(1): 8-10, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1093457

ABSTRACT

A prison setting with its congregate environment is at high risk for widespread transmission of respiratory illnesses. Identifying COVID-19 cases as early as possible and isolating cases and tracing contacts is critical to halting the spread of this disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added new loss of taste or smell to its list of symptoms and, initially, only if associated with at least one of six other symptoms. The CDC has since updated the guidance to remove this qualifier as of May 13, 2020. New loss of taste or smell, alone, can help to identify COVID-19 cases. Solitary anosmia/ageusia should be strongly considered in routine symptom screening protocols for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Ageusia/diagnosis , Anosmia/diagnosis , COVID-19/diagnosis , Prisons/statistics & numerical data , Ageusia/epidemiology , Anosmia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Mass Screening , SARS-CoV-2 , Smell , Taste
11.
J Correct Health Care ; 27(1): 3-7, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069197

ABSTRACT

On March 7 and 8, 2020, revolts erupted in numerous Italian prisons after the announcement of regulations to contain the spread of COVID-19 in prisons. On April 2, 2020, the first prisoner died of COVID-19, and as of April 9, 58 prisoners and 178 penitentiary police officers have tested positive for the virus. The situation in Italy is made all the more dramatic because of endemic overcrowding: As of April 3, 2020, there were 56,830 prisoners in institutions meant for a maximum of 47,000 people, that is, an occupancy level of 121.75%. The Ministry of Justice and that of Health have established two strategies to limit the spread of COVID-19 in prisons: progressive isolation from the external world and adoption of practices to identify possible cases and to treat infected subjects. The legislation has significantly reduced individual rights in order to protect public health, but in the prison context, the limitations imposed do not guarantee the achievement of the goal of the entire legislation, which is to interrupt the chain of transmission of contagion. A prison cannot be entirely cut off, because its operations depend on people who come and go daily, The effects of these strategy are discussed critically.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemics , Prisons/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Epidemics/prevention & control , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Police , Prisoners , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Ciênc. Saúde Colet ; 26(1): 169-178, jan. 2021. tab, graf
Article in Portuguese | LILACS (Americas) | ID: covidwho-1060939

ABSTRACT

Resumo Tendo em vista a rápida disseminação do novo coronavírus no sistema prisional, o presente trabalho teve como objetivos identificar aglomerados espaciais para ocorrência da COVID-19 na população privada de liberdade (PPL) e analisar a tendência temporal dos casos confirmados no sistema penitenciário do Brasil. Estudo ecológico que considerou como unidades de análise as cinco macrorregiões do Brasil, seus 26 estados e o Distrito Federal. A população foi composta por todos os casos de COVID-19 confirmados, no período de 14 de abril a 31 de agosto de 2020. A fonte de dados utilizada foi o Painel de Monitoramento dos casos de COVID-19 nos sistemas prisionais do Departamento Penitenciário Nacional. Realizou-se análise descritiva, estatística de varredura e análise da tendência temporal. Foram notificados 18.767 casos de COVID-19 na PPL, dos quais 4.724 ocorreram no estado de São Paulo. A estatística de varredura possibilitou a identificação de 14 clusters espaciais de risco para COVID-19 na PPL, sendo o aglomerado de maior risco formado pelo Distrito Federal. Embora o país finalize a série com um comportamento decrescente, observa-se que no período de investigação a tendência apresentou um comportamento maioritariamente crescente. Evidencia-se a necessidade de testagem em massa, monitoramento e registro contínuo dos casos de COVID-19 na PPL do país.


Abstract Given the rapid spread of new coronavirus within the prison system, this study's objective was to identify spatial clusters for the occurrence of COVID-19 in the incarcerated population and analyze temporal trends of confirmed cases in the Brazilian prison system. This ecological study considered the five Brazilian macro-regions to be units of analysis, with its 26 states and the Federal District. The population was composed of all COVID-19 cases confirmed from April 14th to August 31st, 2020. The source used to collect data was the COVID-19 Monitoring Panel from the National Prison Department. Descriptive analysis, scan statistics, and time series were performed. A total of 18,767 COVID-19 cases were reported among the incarcerated population, 4,724 in São Paulo. The scan statistic analysis resulted in 14 spatial risk clusters for COVID-19 among persons deprived of liberty; the highest-risk cluster was in the Federal District. Although the country ends the series with a decreasing behavior, a growing trend was verified in most of the study period. The conclusion is that there is a need to implement mass testing among the incarcerated population while continually monitoring and recording COVID-19 cases.


Subject(s)
Humans , Prisons/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Betacoronavirus , Prisons/trends , Brazil/epidemiology , Incidence , Space-Time Clustering
13.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(3): 924-927, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024500

ABSTRACT

An outbreak of coronavirus disease began in a large penitentiary complex in Brazil on April 1, 2020. By June 12, there were 1,057 confirmed cases among inmates and staff. Nine patients were hospitalized, and 3 died. Mean serial interval was ≈2.5 days; reproduction number range was 1.0-2.3.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Prisons/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Basic Reproduction Number , Brazil , COVID-19/mortality , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
15.
Semergen ; 47(1): 47-55, 2021.
Article in Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-997526

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Review of control and management of SARS-CoV-2 infection in penitentiary institutions in Spain and other countries. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A systematic review a comprehensive literature search in Global Health, SCOPUS, Medline and EMBASE was performed using relevant keywords and medical descriptors (MeSH) related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and prisons. National and international recommendations and guides were examined as well as documents published by some countries. RESULTS: The key points of the guides are discussed. The vast majority of recommendations coincide with respect to the measures and procedures that should be used, except for some discrepancy regarding the population screening. Until now, most industrialized countries (except the US and some specific scenarios) have controlled successfully the epidemic in prisons. Less data is found as regards to socioeconomically more disadvantaged countries. CONCLUSIONS: Prisons are prone to a high risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission due to their space limitations and sometimes poor environmental and hygienic conditions. The recommendations of the control and management of SARS-CoV-2 infection must be the same as those outside the prison, but must be adapted to the peculiarities of the prison. The recommendations must be issued by the health administration in coordination with the prison administration. Finally, must be abide by the Mandela Rules or by the Standard Minimum Rules for the treatment of United Nations prisoners.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prisons , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Prisons/statistics & numerical data , Spain/epidemiology
16.
Pan Afr Med J ; 37(Suppl 1): 17, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-994231

ABSTRACT

Although prisoners are considered a vulnerable population, no data repository currently exists to monitor the COVID-19 incidence in Nigerian prisons. To better understand the impact of COVID-19 within the Nigerian prison system, prisons should develop detailed COVID-19 response protocols, implement enhanced point-of-care testing, and initiate contact tracing with meticulous data collection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/epidemiology , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Prisons/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , Contact Tracing , Humans , Nigeria , Point-of-Care Systems , Vulnerable Populations
17.
J Urban Health ; 98(1): 53-58, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-986655

ABSTRACT

People in prison are particularly vulnerable to infectious disease due to close living conditions and the lack of protective equipment. As a result, public health professionals and prison administrators seek information to guide best practices and policy recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using latent profile analysis, we sought to characterize Texas prisons on levels of COVID-19 cases and deaths among incarcerated residents, and COVID-19 cases among prison staff. This observational study was a secondary data analysis of publicly available data from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TBDJ) collected from March 1, 2020, until July 24, 2020. This project was completed in collaboration with the COVID Prison Project. We identified relevant profiles from the data: a low-outbreak profile, a high-outbreak profile, and a high-death profile. Additionally, current prison population and level of employee staffing predicted membership in the high-outbreak and high-death profiles when compared with the low-outbreak profile. Housing persons at 85% of prison capacity was associated with lower risk of COVID-19 infection and death. Implementing this 85% standard as an absolute minimum should be prioritized at prisons across the USA.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Guidelines as Topic , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Prisons/standards , Public Health/standards , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Population Dynamics/statistics & numerical data , Prisons/statistics & numerical data , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Texas/epidemiology
18.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(45): 1686-1690, 2020 Nov 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-922984

ABSTRACT

Large indoor gatherings pose a high risk for transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and have the potential to be super-spreading events (1,2). Such events are associated with explosive growth, followed by sustained transmission (3). During August 7-September 14, 2020, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (MeCDC) investigated a COVID-19 outbreak linked to a wedding reception attended by 55 persons in a rural Maine town. In addition to the community outbreak, secondary and tertiary transmission led to outbreaks at a long-term care facility 100 miles away and at a correctional facility approximately 200 miles away. Overall, 177 COVID-19 cases were epidemiologically linked to the event, including seven hospitalizations and seven deaths (four in hospitalized persons). Investigation revealed noncompliance with CDC's recommended mitigation measures. To reduce transmission, persons should avoid large gatherings, practice physical distancing, wear masks, stay home when ill, and self-quarantine after exposure to a person with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Persons can work with local health officials to increase COVID-19 awareness and determine the best policies for organizing social events to prevent outbreaks in their communities.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Prisons/statistics & numerical data , Residential Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Contact Tracing , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Female , Humans , Maine/epidemiology , Male , Marriage , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
19.
Ciênc. Saúde Colet ; 25(9): 3493-3502, Mar. 2020. tab, graf
Article in Portuguese | LILACS (Americas) | ID: covidwho-910846

ABSTRACT

Resumo Saúde prisional é, em sua essência, saúde pública. A pandemia de COVID-19 representa uma grande ameaça para o mundo e tem demonstrado que prevenir a escalada da doença em prisões faz parte do combate ao novo coronavírus na sociedade em geral. Sabe-se, até o momento, que a mais efetiva medida de contenção ao avanço da doença é o isolamento social. No entanto, em instituições penais, muitas vezes superlotadas, tal medida torna-se de difícil implementação e, quando acontece, leva a população privada de liberdade a um superisolamento, tendo consequências em sua saúde mental. Além disso, indivíduos presos sofrem com ambientes sem ventilação, falta de materiais de higiene pessoal, condições sanitárias básicas precárias e dificuldade de acesso a serviços de saúde. O presente artigo objetiva ser uma revisão narrativa sobre os efeitos da pandemia em presídios e como governos e sociedade civil têm se organizado a fim de reduzir as consequências sobre esses locais. A publicação foi dividida em três seções: na primeira, há uma revisão da literatura em saúde sobre a temática; na segunda, é tratado o modo como diferentes países estão lidando com a situação carcerária no contexto da pandemia; na terceira e última parte, é abordado o modo como o Sistema Penal brasileiro tem reagido à nova doença.


Abstract Prisional health is, in its essence, public health. The COVID-19 pandemic poses a great threat to the world and has shown that preventing the disease escalation in prisons integrates the novel corona virus clash in society in general. Up to this moment, the most effective known measure to curb the disease spread is social isolation. Nevertheless, in penal institutions, often overcrowded, social isolation becomes difficult to carry out and, when it happens, it takes the enclosed population to overisolation, with consequences to their mental health. Besides, prisoners suffer with clogged up environment, lack of materials for personal hygiene, poor basic sanitary conditions and difficulties in accessing health services. This paper deals with a narrative review on the pandemic effects in prisons and how government and civil society have organized themselves in order to reduce the disease consequences at those places. The text has been divided into three sections: the first with literature review on the current health theme; the second discusses how different countries have been dealing with the prison situation in the pandemic context, and, the last part focuses on how the Brazilian Penal System has reacted to the new disease.


Subject(s)
Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Prisons/statistics & numerical data , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Prisoners/psychology , Social Isolation , Brazil , Mental Health , Coronavirus Infections , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Health Services Accessibility
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