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1.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264769, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745318

ABSTRACT

Using the synthetic control method, we construct counterfactuals for what would have happened if Sweden had imposed a lockdown during the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic. We consider eight different indicators, including a novel one that we construct by adjusting recorded daily COVID-19 deaths to account for weakly excess mortality. Correcting for data problems and re-optimizing the synthetic control for each indicator, we find that a lockdown would have had sizable effects within one week. The much longer delay estimated by two previous studies focusing on the number of positives cases is mainly driven by the extremely low testing frequency that prevailed in Sweden in the first months of the epidemic. This result appears relevant for choosing the timing of future lockdowns and highlights the importance of looking at several indicators to derive robust conclusions. We also find that our novel indicator is effective in correcting errors in the COVID-19 deaths series and that the quantitative effects of the lockdown are stronger than previously estimated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Health Policy , Quarantine/legislation & jurisprudence , Death Certificates , Humans , Sweden/epidemiology
2.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 3970, 2022 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740467

ABSTRACT

We study the problem of synthesizing lockdown policies-schedules of maximum capacities for different types of activity sites-to minimize the number of deceased individuals due to a pandemic within a given metropolitan statistical area (MSA) while controlling the severity of the imposed lockdown. To synthesize and evaluate lockdown policies, we develop a multiscale susceptible, infected, recovered, and deceased model that partitions a given MSA into geographic subregions, and that incorporates data on the behaviors of the populations of these subregions. This modeling approach allows for the analysis of heterogeneous lockdown policies that vary across the different types of activity sites within each subregion of the MSA. We formulate the synthesis of optimal lockdown policies as a nonconvex optimization problem and we develop an iterative algorithm that addresses this nonconvexity through sequential convex programming. We empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of the developed approach by applying it to six of the largest MSAs in the United States. The developed heterogeneous lockdown policies not only reduce the number of deceased individuals by up to 45 percent over a 100 day period in comparison with three baseline lockdown policies that are less heterogeneous, but they also impose lockdowns that are less severe.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Geography , Quarantine/methods , Cities , Humans , Quarantine/legislation & jurisprudence , United States
4.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1012, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1709629

ABSTRACT

Mitigation of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from international travel is a priority. We evaluated the effectiveness of travellers being required to quarantine for 14-days on return to England in Summer 2020. We identified 4,207 travel-related SARS-CoV-2 cases and their contacts, and identified 827 associated SARS-CoV-2 genomes. Overall, quarantine was associated with a lower rate of contacts, and the impact of quarantine was greatest in the 16-20 age-group. 186 SARS-CoV-2 genomes were sufficiently unique to identify travel-related clusters. Fewer genomically-linked cases were observed for index cases who returned from countries with quarantine requirement compared to countries with no quarantine requirement. This difference was explained by fewer importation events per identified genome for these cases, as opposed to fewer onward contacts per case. Overall, our study demonstrates that a 14-day quarantine period reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the onward transmission of imported cases, mainly by dissuading travel to countries with a quarantine requirement.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Diseases, Imported/prevention & control , Quarantine/legislation & jurisprudence , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Communicable Diseases, Imported/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Imported/transmission , Contact Tracing , England/epidemiology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Genomics , Health Impact Assessment , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Travel/legislation & jurisprudence , Travel-Related Illness
8.
Commun Dis Intell (2018) ; 452021 May 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524942

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: With COVID-19 affecting millions of people around the globe, quarantine of international arrivals is a critical public health measure to prevent further disease transmission in local populations. This measure has also been applied in the repatriation of citizens, undertaken by several countries as an ethical obligation and legal responsibility. This article describes the process of planning and preparing for the repatriation operation in South Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interagency collaboration, development of a COVID-19 testing and quarantining protocol, implementing infection prevention and control, and building a specialised health care delivery model were essential aspects of the repatriation operational planning, with a focus on maintaining dignity and wellbeing of the passengers as well as on effective prevention of COVID-19 transmission. From April 2020 to mid-February 2021, more than 14,000 international arrivals travellers have been repatriated under the South Australian repatriation operations. This paper has implications to inform ongoing repatriation efforts in Australia and overseas in a pandemic situation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Infection Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Public Health/legislation & jurisprudence , Quarantine/legislation & jurisprudence , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19 Testing/standards , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Infection Control/methods , International Health Regulations , Pandemics , Public Health/methods , Quarantine/methods , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , South Australia/epidemiology , Travel
11.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0256624, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438344

ABSTRACT

Laws not only affect behavior due to changes in material payoffs, but they may also change the perception individuals have of social norms, either by shifting them directly or by providing information on these norms. Using detailed daily survey data and exploiting the introduction of lockdown measures in the UK in the context of the COVID-19 health crisis, we provide causal evidence that the law drastically changed the perception of the norms regarding social distancing behaviors. We show that this effect of laws on perceived norms is mostly driven by an informational channel and that the intervention made perceptions of social norms converge to the actual prevalent norm.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Perception , Quarantine/legislation & jurisprudence , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Behavior , Social Norms , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , United Kingdom
13.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0254432, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398928

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Community engagement (CE) is an effective public health strategy for improving health outcomes. There is limited published knowledge about effective approaches to CE in ensuring effective responses to COVID-19 throughout lockdowns, travel restrictions and social distancing. In this paper, we contribute to bridging this gap by highlighting experience of CE in Vietnam, specifically focusing on migrant workers in Vietnam. METHODS: A cross-sectional qualitative study design was used with qualitative data collection was carried out during August-October 2020. Two districts were purposefully selected from two large industrial zones. Data was collected using in-depth interviews (n = 36) with individuals and households, migrants and owners of dormitories, industrial zone factory representatives, community representatives and health authorities. Data was analyzed using thematic analysis approach. The study received ethics approval from the Hanoi University Institutional Review Board. RESULTS: The government's response to COVID-19 was spearheaded by the multi-sectoral National Steering Committee for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19, chaired by the Vice Prime Minister and comprised different members from 23 ministries. This structure was replicated throughout the province and local levels and all public and private organizations. Different activities were carried out by local communities, following four key principles of infection control: early detection, isolation, quarantine and hospitalization. We found three key determinants of engagement of migrant workers with COVID-19 prevention and control: availability of resources, appropriate capacity strengthening, transparent and continuous communication and a sense of trust in government legitimacy. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Our results support the current literature on CE in infection control which highlights the importance of context and suggests that future CE should consider five key components: multi-sectoral collaboration with a whole-of-community approach to strengthen governance structures with context-specific partnerships; mobilization of resources and decentralization of decision making to encourage self-reliance and building of local capacity; capacity building through training and supervision to local institutions; transparent and clear communication of health risks and sensitization of local communities to improve compliance and foster trust in the government measures; and understanding the urgent needs ensuring of social security and engaging all parts of the community, specifically the vulnerable groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Community Participation/legislation & jurisprudence , Adult , Capacity Building/legislation & jurisprudence , Communication , Cross-Sectional Studies , Data Collection/legislation & jurisprudence , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Public Health/legislation & jurisprudence , Quarantine/legislation & jurisprudence , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Trust , Vietnam , Young Adult
14.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(45): 1691-1694, 2020 Nov 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389858

ABSTRACT

Mitigation measures, including stay-at-home orders and public mask wearing, together with routine public health interventions such as case investigation with contact tracing and immediate self-quarantine after exposure, are recommended to prevent and control the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (1-3). On March 11, the first COVID-19 case in Delaware was reported to the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH). The state responded to ongoing community transmission with investigation of all identified cases (commencing March 11), issuance of statewide stay-at-home orders (March 24-June 1), a statewide public mask mandate (from April 28), and contact tracing (starting May 12). The relationship among implementation of mitigation strategies, case investigations, and contact tracing and COVID-19 incidence and associated hospitalization and mortality was examined during March-June 2020. Incidence declined by 82%, hospitalization by 88%, and mortality by 100% from late April to June 2020, as the mask mandate and contact tracing were added to case investigations and the stay-at-home order. Among 9,762 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases reported during March 11-June 25, 2020, two thirds (6,527; 67%) of patients were interviewed, and 5,823 (60%) reported completing isolation. Among 2,834 contacts reported, 882 (31%) were interviewed and among these contacts, 721 (82%) reported completing quarantine. Implementation of mitigation measures, including mandated mask use coupled with public health interventions, was followed by reductions in COVID-19 incidence and associated hospitalizations and mortality. The combination of state-mandated community mitigation efforts and routine public health interventions can reduce the occurrence of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Public Health/legislation & jurisprudence , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Contact Tracing , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Delaware/epidemiology , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Quarantine/legislation & jurisprudence , Young Adult
18.
Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse ; 47(5): 605-611, 2021 09 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258627

ABSTRACT

Background: COVID-19 related stay-at-home (SAH) orders created many economic and social stressors, possibly increasing the risk of drug/alcohol abuse in the community and trauma population.Objectives: Describe changes in alcohol/drug use in traumatically injured patients after SAH orders in California and evaluate demographic or injury pattern changes in alcohol or drug-positive patients.Methods: A retrospective analysis of 11 trauma centers in Southern California (1/1/2020-6/30/2020) was performed. Blood alcohol concentration, urine toxicology results, demographics, and injury characteristics were collected. Patients were grouped based on injury date - before SAH (PRE-SAH), immediately after SAH (POST-SAH), and a historical comparison (3/19/2019-6/30/2019) (CONTROL) - and compared in separate analyses. Groups were compared using chi-square tests for categorical variables and Mann-Whitney U tests for continuous variables.Results: 20,448 trauma patients (13,634 male, 6,814 female) were identified across three time-periods. The POST-SAH group had higher rates of any drug (26.2% vs. 21.6% and 24.7%, OR = 1.26 and 1.08, p < .001 and p = .035), amphetamine (10.4% vs. 7.5% and 9.3%, OR = 1.43 and 1.14, p < .001 and p = .023), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (13.8% vs. 11.0% and 11.4%, OR = 1.30 and 1.25, p < .001 and p < .001), and 3,4-methylenedioxy methamphetamine (MDMA) (0.8% vs. 0.4% and 0.2%, OR = 2.02 and 4.97, p = .003 and p < .001) positivity compared to PRE-SAH and CONTROL groups. Alcohol concentration and positivity were similar between groups (p > .05).Conclusion: This Southern California multicenter study demonstrated increased amphetamine, MDMA, and THC positivity in trauma patients after SAH, but no difference in alcohol positivity or blood concentration. Drug prevention strategies should continue to be adapted within and outside of hospitals during a pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Substance Abuse Detection/statistics & numerical data , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Adult , California/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Quarantine/legislation & jurisprudence , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Trauma Centers , Young Adult
19.
Commun Dis Intell (2018) ; 452021 May 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1257614

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: With COVID-19 affecting millions of people around the globe, quarantine of international arrivals is a critical public health measure to prevent further disease transmission in local populations. This measure has also been applied in the repatriation of citizens, undertaken by several countries as an ethical obligation and legal responsibility. This article describes the process of planning and preparing for the repatriation operation in South Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interagency collaboration, development of a COVID-19 testing and quarantining protocol, implementing infection prevention and control, and building a specialised health care delivery model were essential aspects of the repatriation operational planning, with a focus on maintaining dignity and wellbeing of the passengers as well as on effective prevention of COVID-19 transmission. From April 2020 to mid-February 2021, more than 14,000 international arrivals travellers have been repatriated under the South Australian repatriation operations. This paper has implications to inform ongoing repatriation efforts in Australia and overseas in a pandemic situation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Infection Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Public Health/legislation & jurisprudence , Quarantine/legislation & jurisprudence , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19 Testing/standards , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Infection Control/methods , International Health Regulations , Pandemics , Public Health/methods , Quarantine/methods , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , South Australia/epidemiology , Travel
20.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0252224, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249577

ABSTRACT

As countries are lifting restrictions and resuming international travels, the rising risk of COVID-19 importation remains concerning, given that the SARS-CoV-2 virus could be transmitted unintentionally through the global transportation network. To explore and assess the effective strategies for curtailing the epidemic risk from international importation nationwide, we evaluated "the joint prevention and control" mechanism, which made up of 19 containment policies, on how it impacted the change of medical observation and detection time from border arrival to laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 in its burst in China. Based on 1,314 epidemiological-survey cases from February 29 to May 25, 2020, we found that the synchronized approach of implementing multi-dimensional interventional policies, such as a centralized quarantine and nucleic acid testing (NAT), flight service adjustment and border closure, effectively facilitate early identification of infected case. Specifically, the implementation of the international flight service reduction was found to be associated with a reduction of the mean intervals of diagnosis from arrival to lab-confirmation by 0.44 days maximally, and the border closure was associated with a reduction of the diagnosis interval of imported cases by 0.69 days, from arrival to laboratory confirmation. The study suggests that a timely and synchronized implementation of multi-dimensional policies is compelling in preventing domestic spreading from importation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Government Regulation , Health Policy/legislation & jurisprudence , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , COVID-19/transmission , China/epidemiology , Emigration and Immigration/legislation & jurisprudence , Humans , Masks/supply & distribution , Quarantine/legislation & jurisprudence , Quarantine/organization & administration , Travel/statistics & numerical data
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