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2.
BMC Med Res Methodol ; 22(1): 15, 2022 01 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622209

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has posed a significant influence on public mental health. Current efforts focus on alleviating the impacts of the disease on public health and the economy, with the psychological effects due to COVID-19 relatively ignored. In this research, we are interested in exploring the quantitative characterization of the pandemic impact on public mental health by studying an online survey dataset of the United States. METHODS: The analyses are conducted based on a large scale of online mental health-related survey study in the United States, conducted over 12 consecutive weeks from April 23, 2020 to July 21, 2020. We are interested in examining the risk factors that have a significant impact on mental health as well as in their estimated effects over time. We employ the multiple imputation by chained equations (MICE) method to deal with missing values and take logistic regression with the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (Lasso) method to identify risk factors for mental health. RESULTS: Our analysis shows that risk predictors for an individual to experience mental health issues include the pandemic situation of the State where the individual resides, age, gender, race, marital status, health conditions, the number of household members, employment status, the level of confidence of the future food affordability, availability of health insurance, mortgage status, and the information of kids enrolling in school. The effects of most of the predictors seem to change over time though the degree varies for different risk factors. The effects of risk factors, such as States and gender show noticeable change over time, whereas the factor age exhibits seemingly unchanged effects over time. CONCLUSIONS: The analysis results unveil evidence-based findings to identify the groups who are psychologically vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. This study provides helpful evidence for assisting healthcare providers and policymakers to take steps for mitigating the pandemic effects on public mental health, especially in boosting public health care, improving public confidence in future food conditions, and creating more job opportunities. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This article does not report the results of a health care intervention on human participants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Mental Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , United States/epidemiology
4.
Front Public Health ; 9: 751451, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606247

ABSTRACT

During the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, providing safe in-person schooling has been a dynamic process balancing evolving community disease burden, scientific information, and local regulatory requirements with the mandate for education. Considerations include the health risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection and its post-acute sequelae, the impact of remote learning or periods of quarantine on education and well-being of children, and the contribution of schools to viral circulation in the community. The risk for infections that may occur within schools is related to the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections within the local community. Thus, persistent suppression of viral circulation in the community through effective public health measures including vaccination is critical to in-person schooling. Evidence suggests that the likelihood of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within schools can be minimized if mitigation strategies are rationally combined. This article reviews evidence-based approaches and practices for the continual operation of in-person schooling.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Child , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools
5.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(1): e2142100, 2022 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1603397

ABSTRACT

Importance: Although negative associations of COVID-19 pandemic high school closures with adolescents' health have been demonstrated repeatedly, some research has reported a beneficial association of these closures with adolescents' sleep. The present study was, to our knowledge, the first to combine both perspectives. Objective: To investigate associations between adolescents' sleep and health-related characteristics during COVID-19 pandemic school closures in Switzerland. Design, Setting, and Participants: This survey study used cross-sectional online surveys circulated among the students of 21 public high schools in Zurich, Switzerland. The control sample completed the survey under regular, prepandemic conditions (May to July 2017) and the lockdown sample during school closures (May to June 2020). Survey respondents were included in the study if they provided their sex, age, and school. Exposures: High school closures during the first COVID-19 pandemic wave in Switzerland (March 13 to June 6, 2020). Main Outcomes and Measures: Sleep-wake patterns, health-related quality of life (HRQoL, assessed by the KIDSCREEN-10 questionnaire), substance use (caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine), and depressive symptoms (lockdown sample only; assessed using the withdrawn/depressed scale from the Youth Self Report). Multilevel regression models were used to assess sample differences and associations of health-related characteristics with sleep duration and depressive symptoms. Results: The total sample consisted of 8972 students, including 5308 (59.2%) in the control sample (3454 [65.1%] female) and 3664 (40.8%) in the lockdown sample (2429 [66.3%] female); the median age in both samples was 16 years (IQR, 15-17 years). During school closures, the sleep period on scheduled days was 75 minutes longer (semipartial R2 statistic [R2ß*], 0.238; 95% CI, 0.222-0.254; P < .001) and the students had better HRQoL (R2ß*, 0.007; 95% CI, 0.004-0.012; P < .001) and less consumption of caffeine (R2ß*, 0.010; 95% CI, 0.006-0.015; P < .001) and alcohol (R2ß*, 0.014; 95% CI, 0.008-0.022; P < .001). Longer sleep duration was associated with better HRQoL (R2ß*, 0.027; 95% CI, 0.020-0.034; P < .001) and less caffeine consumption (R2ß*, 0.013; 95% CI, 0.009-0.019; P < .001). In the lockdown sample, an inverse association was found between depressive symptoms and HRQoL (R2ß*, 0.285; 95% CI, 0.260-.0311; P < .001) and a positive association was found with caffeine consumption (R2ß*, 0.003; 95% CI, 0.000-0.008; P = .01). Conclusions and Relevance: In this survey study, 2 opposing associations between school closures and adolescents' health were identified: a negative association with psychological distress and a beneficial association with increased sleep duration. These findings should be considered when evaluating and implementing school closures. Furthermore, the findings provide support for delaying school start times for adolescents.


Subject(s)
Adolescent Health , COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Pandemics , Psychological Distress , Schools , Sleep , Adolescent , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Caffeine/administration & dosage , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression , Female , Humans , Life Style , Male , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Report , Students , Surveys and Questionnaires , Switzerland
6.
Front Public Health ; 9: 780039, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1608013

ABSTRACT

Introduction: With the increased emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants, the impact on schools and preschools remains a matter of debate. To ensure that schools and preschools are kept open safely, the identification of factors influencing the extent of outbreaks is of importance. Aim: To monitor dynamics of COVID-19 infections in schools and preschools and identify factors influencing the extent of outbreaks. Methods: In this prospective observational study we analyzed routine surveillance data of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany, from calendar week (CW) 32, 2020 to CW19, 2021 regarding SARS-CoV-2 infection events in schools and preschools considering changes in infection control measures over time. A multivariate linear regression model was fitted to evaluate factors influencing the number of students, teachers and staff tested positive following index cases in schools and preschools. Due to an existing multicollinearity in the common multivariate regression model between the variables "face mask obligation for children" and "face mask obligation for adults", two further separate regression models were set up (Multivariate Model Adults and Multivariate Model Children). Results: We observed a significant increase in secondary cases in preschools in the first quarter of 2021 (CW8 to CW15, 2021), and simultaneously a decrease in secondary cases in schools. In multivariate regression analysis, the strongest predictor of the extent of the outbreaks was the teacher/ caregiver mask obligation (B = -1.9; 95% CI: -2.9 to -1.0; p < 0.001). Furthermore, adult index cases (adult only or child+adult combinations) increased the likelihood of secondary cases (B = 1.3; 95% CI: 0.9 to 1.8; p < 0.001). The face mask obligation for children also showed a significant reduction in the number of secondary cases (B = -0.6; 95% CI: -0.9 to -0.2; p = 0.004. Conclusion: The present study indicates that outbreak events at schools and preschools are effectively contained by an obligation for adults and children to wear face masks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Schools , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Child, Preschool , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Germany , Humans , Masks , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Front Public Health ; 9: 789402, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607927

ABSTRACT

Repeated testing of a population is critical for limiting the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and for the safe reopening of educational institutions such as kindergarten-grade 12 (K-12) schools and colleges. Many screening efforts utilize the CDC RT-PCR based assay which targets two regions of the novel Coronavirus nucleocapsid gene. The standard approach of testing each person individually, however, poses a financial burden to these institutions and is therefore a barrier to using testing for re-opening. Pooling samples from multiple individuals into a single test is an attractive alternate approach that promises significant cost savings-however the specificity and sensitivity of such approaches needs to be assessed prior to deployment. To this end, we conducted a pilot study to evaluate the feasibility of analyzing samples in pools of eight by the established RT-PCR assay. Participants (1,576) were recruited from amongst the Tufts University community undergoing regular screening. Each volunteer provided two swabs, one analyzed separately and the other in a pool of eight. Because the positivity rate was very low, we spiked approximately half of the pools with laboratory-generated swabs produced from known positive cases outside the Tufts testing program. The results of pooled tests had 100% correspondence with those of their respective individual tests. We conclude that pooling eight samples does not negatively impact the specificity or sensitivity of the RT-PCR assay and suggest that this approach can be utilized by institutions seeking to reduce surveillance costs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA, Viral , Humans , Pilot Projects , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , Specimen Handling
8.
Epidemiol Prev ; 45: In press, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593216

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: 'Scuola sicura' (SS) programme aims to monitor the rate of COVID-19 and to contain its spread within the school population through early case isolation. OBJECTIVES: to describe the initial process and outcome evaluation results. DESIGN: descriptive study of an experimental screening testing programme in children in Piedmont Region (Northern Italy) in the period January-March 2021. The data used came from the COVID-19 platform and the Local Health Units, the archives of birth certificates (CedAP), and hospital discharge files (SDO). SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: the screening programme targeted second and third grade students in first level secondary schools. Participants were subdivided into four groups; one group each week underwent screening, yielding one test per student per month. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: it was calculated: 1. number of positive cases detected vs total number of students tested in the SS programme; 2. number of positive cases detected outside the SS program vs. total number of students in the target population. The number of quarantines due to SS and no-SS case identification were detected. To investigate the spread of COVID-19 in households, the mother-child pairs were identified through record linkage between the CedAP and SDO archives, and positive mothers were identified. RESULTS: sixty-nine percent of schools and 19.5% of the students participated in the programme. SS detected 114 positives cases for SARS-CoV-2. On 08.03.2021, the target classes started distance learning: 69 of the 114 positive students were identified before that date, leading to the activation of 67 quarantine measures. Only for 61 out of 69 of those students (88%) was possible to identify the mother; 46 mothers had performed a swab test after the positivity of their child with a positive result in 11 cases. Asymptomatic cases identified at screening during in-class learning period accounted for 26.5% of the total number of cases occurred in the participating classes. CONCLUSIONS: this is one of the few studies (and the first in Italy) to describe the functioning and predictive capacity of school screening testing for SARS-CoV-2 in a real-world situation. The findings provide data-driven suggestions for government agencies when planning large-scale school screening testing programmes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , Students
9.
Sch Psychol ; 36(3): 190-195, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592679

ABSTRACT

This research examines the cross-cultural differences on triarchic model of grit (TMG) dimensions (i.e., perseverance of effort, consistency of interests, and adaptability to situations) and the associations of grit with academic engagement in Math and Science among secondary school students in one secondary school in Hong Kong (n = 101; M age = 12.44; SD = .60), nine secondary schools in Philippines (n = 575; Mage = 14.66; SD = .83), and two secondary schools in mainland China (n = 710; Mage = 13.39; SD = .56). Result of structural equation modeling via maximum likelihood estimation approach demonstrated that although all TMG dimensions were related to higher engagement in Math and Science, adaptability served as the strongest predictor of these outcomes even after controlling for the participants' cultural settings and conscientiousness. Consistency served as the weakest correlate of engagement outcomes. Conscientiousness, settings, and TMG dimensions explained 46% and 50% of the variance in Math and Science academic engagement respectively. These results provide additional evidence regarding the generalizability of TMG in non-Western societies. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).


Subject(s)
Academic Success , Adolescent , Child , China , Humans , Mathematics , Schools , Students
11.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(5152): 1778-1781, 2021 Dec 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596398

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in school closures and reduction of in-person learning (1). In August 2021, the Lake County Health Department (LCHD) in Illinois introduced a Test to Stay (TTS) strategy, whereby unvaccinated students, teachers, and staff members with certain school-related COVID-19 exposures could remain in school and participate in school-related extracurricular activities. Eligibility to participate in TTS required the following conditions to be met: 1) the exposure occurred while both the person with COVID-19 (index patient) and the close contact were masked; 2) the close contact remained asymptomatic, practiced consistent mask wearing, and maintained physical distancing; and 3) the close contact underwent testing for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) on days 1, 3, 5, and 7 after exposure to the index patient. LCHD permitted kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) schools in Lake County to implement TTS; 90 schools, representing 31 school districts in Lake County, implemented TTS during August 9-October 29, 2021. During the implementation period, 258 COVID-19 cases were reported. Among 1,035 students and staff members enrolled in TTS, the secondary attack risk (number of close contacts who received a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result within 14 days after exposure to an index patient, divided by total number of close contacts) was 1.5% (16 of 1,035). Among the 16 secondary cases identified, all were in students, and none appeared to transmit SARS-CoV-2 to other school-based contacts. However, nine tertiary cases were identified among household contacts of the 16 secondary cases, and four of the nine were fully vaccinated. Assuming a maximum of 8 missed school days for every 10-day quarantine period, up to 8,152 in-person learning days were saved among TTS participants. Implementation of TTS with other concurrent prevention strategies, including masking and physical distancing, limited further spread of SARS-CoV-2 within K-12 schools and allowed students to safely sustain in-person learning. Although vaccination remains the leading public health recommendation to protect against COVID-19 for those aged ≥5 years, schools might consider TTS as an option for allowing close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to remain in the classroom as an alternative to home quarantine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/prevention & control , Quarantine/methods , Schools , Students , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Child , Child, Preschool , Environmental Exposure , Humans , Illinois/epidemiology , Masks
12.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(5152): 1773-1777, 2021 Dec 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593939

ABSTRACT

On July 12, 2021, the California Department of Public Health updated COVID-19 school guidance, allowing a Test to Stay (TTS) strategy to increase access to in-person learning* (1). The TTS strategy enabled unvaccinated students, exposed in school to a person infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), to remain in school while under quarantine, if both the infected person and the exposed person wore masks correctly and consistently throughout the exposure. To stay in school during the quarantine period, the exposed student must remain asymptomatic, wear a mask at school, and undergo twice weekly testing for SARS-CoV-2. To date, few studies have evaluated the impact of TTS on transmission (2-4). This study evaluated a TTS strategy implemented by Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LAC DPH). During September 20-October 31, 2021, among 78 school districts, one half permitted TTS; in total, 432 (21%) of 2,067 schools adopted TTS. TTS schools did not experience increases in COVID-19 incidence among students after TTS implementation, and in 20 identified outbreaks in TTS schools,† no tertiary transmission was identified. The ratio of student COVID-19 incidence in TTS districts to that in non-TTS districts was similar before and after TTS adoption (rate ratio = 0.5). Non-TTS schools lost an estimated 92,455 in-person school days during September 20-October 31 while students were in quarantine, compared with no lost days among quarantined students in TTS schools. Non-TTS schools cited resource-related reasons for not adopting TTS; 75% of these schools were in LAC's most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Preliminary data from LAC suggest that a school-based TTS strategy does not increase school transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and might greatly reduce loss of in-person school days; however, TTS might have barriers to implementation and require resources that are not available for some schools. Continued efforts to simplify school quarantine strategies might help to ensure that all students have access to safe in-person education. Although vaccination remains the leading public health recommendation to protect against COVID-19 for persons aged ≥5 years, schools might consider TTS as an option for allowing students with a school exposure who are not fully vaccinated to remain in the classroom as an alternative to home quarantine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/prevention & control , Quarantine/methods , Schools , Students , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Environmental Exposure , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Masks
13.
J Contin Educ Nurs ; 53(1): 35-41, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593936

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: School nurses serve a critical role in academic settings, but evidence indicates that nurses may need help transitioning their generalist nursing training to the school environment (Camp). Continuing education (CE) can be an effective way for school nurses to develop the specialty skills needed for this practice environment (Gormley; Quinn & Smolinski), but a better understanding of how nurses engage in CE is needed to guide course development. The goal of this study is to describe how South Carolina school nurses engage with CE to guide future CE development efforts. METHOD: A qualitative descriptive design was used to describe engagement in CE for 24 participating South Carolina school nurses. RESULTS: School nurses experienced CE as a process that included deciding to attend, experiencing the course, and implementing practice change. Subthemes relevant to these steps also emerged. CONCLUSION: For school nurses, CE is a process and is not perceived as a one-time event. Design recommendations and strategies are presented. [J Contin Educ Nurs. 2022;53(1):35-41.].


Subject(s)
Education, Nursing, Continuing , Schools , Humans , Surveys and Questionnaires
14.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 24390, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585778

ABSTRACT

This paper investigates the role of large outbreaks on the persistence of Covid-19 over time. Using data from 650 European regions in 14 countries, I first show that winter school holidays in late February/early March 2020 (weeks 8, 9 and 10) led to large regional outbreaks of Covid-19 in the spring with the spread being 60% and up-to over 90% higher compared to regions with earlier school holidays. While the impact of these initial large outbreaks fades away over the summer months, it systematically reappears from the fall as regions with school holidays in weeks 8, 9 and 10 had 30-70% higher spread. This suggests that following a large outbreak, there is a strong element of underlying (latent) regional persistence of Covid-19. The strong degree of persistence highlights the long-term benefits of effective (initial) containment policies, as once a large outbreak has occurred, Covid-19 persists. This result emphasizes the need for vaccinations against Covid-19 in regions that have recently experienced large outbreaks but are well below herd-immunity, to avoid a new surge of cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Europe/epidemiology , Holidays , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Schools , Urbanization
15.
NASN Sch Nurse ; 37(1_suppl): 3S-14S, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582809

ABSTRACT

For decades, school-located vaccinations clinics (SLVs) have successfully offered influenza and routine childhood immunizations that have contributed to lowering the morbidity and mortality of vaccine-preventable diseases. These SLVs laid the foundation for state and local health departments and school districts to quickly implement SLVs in response to COVID-19. To support school nurses and immunization programs in implementing future SLVs during the COVID-19 pandemic, we explored the landscape of SLVs between August 2019 and late summer 2021 using publicly available information from school and health department websites, news articles reporting on SLVs, and internal documents provided by school nurses and immunization programs who hosted SLVs. Our scan identified variability in the reach, scope, and approach to SLVs, but consistent themes persist such as the importance of partnerships and SLVs as an opportunity to promote equitable access to vaccinations. Useful documents and resources for planning and hosting SLV clinics were compiled into a table. With COVID-19 vaccines now available to all school-age children, SLVs provide an even greater opportunity to improve school and community health. The included resources are designed to provide support for those interested in SLV implementation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , School Nursing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Child , Humans , Immunization Programs , Pandemics , Policy , SARS-CoV-2 , School Health Services , Schools , Vaccination
16.
NASN Sch Nurse ; 37(1_suppl): 15S-23S, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582808

ABSTRACT

School-located vaccination clinics (SLVs) are an established strategy to offer influenza and routine vaccinations and improve student and community health. The COVID-19 pandemic has led many communities to expand SLVs to include COVID-19 vaccines. However, these SLVs are less documented than in the past due to the fast-paced nature of the pandemic and the additional pressures put on schools and public health organizations. We conducted five virtual roundtables with 30 school nurses and state immunization program managers from across the United States to gain insight into SLVs occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic. Roundtables explored participants' experiences planning and implementing SLVs, including factors influencing success and available resources. Findings highlighted SLVs as an opportunity to increase access and equity for vaccines. Participants shared strategies for School-located vaccination (SLV) funding, partnership building, vaccine storage and management, consent, data sharing, messaging, and promotion. These shared experiences offer useful insights for those interested in future and sustained SLV implementation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , School Nursing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunization Programs , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , School Health Services , Schools , United States , Vaccination
18.
Sci Diabetes Self Manag Care ; 47(6): 447-456, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582453

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to survey parents of youth with type 1 diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic with school closures to better understand the implications of the school day on health care behaviors. METHODS: A cross-sectional, online survey was distributed to parents of youth with type 1 diabetes ≤19 years of age in a large, academic diabetes center. Questions encompassed perceived changes in management behaviors and plans for return to school. Subgroup analysis compared parent responses by child's age, reported stressors, and socioeconomic markers. RESULTS: Parents reported a worsening in their child's diabetes health behaviors during school closures compared to what they perceived during a regular school day before the pandemic. More than half of parents reported feeling that their child was unable to maintain a normal routine, with particular implications for snacking between meals, daily physical activity, and sleep habits. Families with adolescents or those experiencing multiple pandemic-related stressors reported greater challenges. In open-ended responses, families highlighted difficulty in balancing school, work, and diabetes care and expressed concerns about the mental health repercussions of school closures for their children. Nearly half of parents reported being at least moderately worried about return to school, whereas only a minority reported seeking guidance from their diabetes provider. CONCLUSIONS: Parent-reported disruptions of school-day routines frequently had adverse consequences for diabetes management in this population. These findings highlight the importance of a school-day routine for children with type 1 diabetes; during closures, families may benefit from mitigating strategies to maintain effective habits.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 , Adolescent , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/epidemiology , Health Behavior , Humans , Pandemics , Parents , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(1)2021 Dec 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580860

ABSTRACT

While SARS-CoV-2 infection activity in German kindergartens during the first year of the pandemic appeared to be overall low, outbreaks did occur. We retrospectively investigated an outbreak in November and December 2020 in a Berlin kindergarten participating in the Berlin Corona School and Kindergarten Study (BECOSS). Interviews were conducted with affected families regarding symptomatology, contact persons and possible sources of infection, as well as relevant information on the conditions on-site and infection prevention measures. A chronology of the outbreak was elaborated, and based on data on contacts and symptoms, we mapped the most likely chains of infection. Overall, 24 individuals, including ten educators, seven children, and seven household members, were infected with SARS-CoV-2 in a four-week time interval. Courses of infection ranged from asymptomatic to severe, with children less affected by symptoms. Viral spread within the facility seemed to occur mainly through kindergarten staff, while children primarily transmitted infections within their families. Interviewees reported that hygiene measures were not always adhered to inside the facility. To prevent outbreaks in kindergartens, especially in the light of current and newly emerging viral variants of concern, strict compliance to hygiene rules, staff vaccinations against SARS-CoV-2, and immediate reaction to suspected cases by quarantining and frequent testing seem reasonable measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Berlin , Child , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools
20.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(1)2021 12 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580805

ABSTRACT

During spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying public health advisories forced K-12 schools throughout the United States to suspend in-person instruction. School personnel rapidly transitioned to remote provision of academic instruction and wellness services such as school meals and counseling services. The aim of this study was to investigate how schools responded to the transition to remote supports, including assessment of what readiness characteristics schools leveraged or developed to facilitate those transitions. Semi-structured interviews informed by school wellness implementation literature were conducted in the spring of 2020. Personnel (n = 50) from 39 urban and rural elementary schools nationwide participated. The readiness = motivation capacity2 (R = MC2) heuristic, developed by Scaccia and colleagues, guided coding to determine themes related to schools' readiness to support student wellness in innovative ways during the pandemic closure. Two distinct code sets emerged, defined according to the R = MC2 heuristic (1) Innovations: roles that schools took on during the pandemic response, and (2) Readiness: factors influencing schools' motivation and capacity to carry out those roles. Schools demonstrated unprecedented capacity and motivation to provide crucial wellness support to students and families early in the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts can inform future resource allocation and new strategies to implement school wellness practices when schools resume normal operations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Heuristics , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , School Health Services , Schools , Students , United States
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