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1.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264444, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1724851

ABSTRACT

Do organizational leaders' tweets influence their employees' anxiety? And if so, have employees become more susceptible to their leader's social media communications during the COVID-19 pandemic? Based on emotional contagion and using machine learning algorithms to track anxiety and personality traits of 197 leaders and 958 followers across 79 organizations over 316 days, we find that during the pandemic leaders' tweets do influence follower state anxiety. In addition, followers of trait anxious leaders seem somewhat protected by sudden spikes in leader state anxiety, while followers of less trait anxious leaders are most affected by increased leader state anxiety. Multi-day lagged regressions showcase that this effect is stronger post-onset of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the pre-pandemic crisis context.


Subject(s)
Anxiety , COVID-19 , Leadership , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Behavior , Social Media , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Social Interaction
2.
PLoS Med ; 19(3): e1003907, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714705

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the United Kingdom government imposed public health policies in England to reduce social contacts in hopes of curbing virus transmission. We conducted a repeated cross-sectional study to measure contact patterns weekly from March 2020 to March 2021 to estimate the impact of these policies, covering 3 national lockdowns interspersed by periods of less restrictive policies. METHODS AND FINDINGS: The repeated cross-sectional survey data were collected using online surveys of representative samples of the UK population by age and gender. Survey participants were recruited by the online market research company Ipsos MORI through internet-based banner and social media ads and email campaigns. The participant data used for this analysis are restricted to those who reported living in England. We calculated the mean daily contacts reported using a (clustered) bootstrap and fitted a censored negative binomial model to estimate age-stratified contact matrices and estimate proportional changes to the basic reproduction number under controlled conditions using the change in contacts as a scaling factor. To put the findings in perspective, we discuss contact rates recorded throughout the year in terms of previously recorded rates from the POLYMOD study social contact study. The survey recorded 101,350 observations from 19,914 participants who reported 466,710 contacts over 53 weeks. We observed changes in social contact patterns in England over time and by participants' age, personal risk factors, and perception of risk. The mean reported contacts for adults 18 to 59 years old ranged between 2.39 (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.20 to 2.60) contacts and 4.93 (95% CI 4.65 to 5.19) contacts during the study period. The mean contacts for school-age children (5 to 17 years old) ranged from 3.07 (95% CI 2.89 to 3.27) to 15.11 (95% CI 13.87 to 16.41). This demonstrates a sustained decrease in social contacts compared to a mean of 11.08 (95% CI 10.54 to 11.57) contacts per participant in all age groups combined as measured by the POLYMOD social contact study in 2005 to 2006. Contacts measured during periods of lockdowns were lower than in periods of eased social restrictions. The use of face coverings outside the home has remained high since the government mandated use in some settings in July 2020. The main limitations of this analysis are the potential for selection bias, as participants are recruited through internet-based campaigns, and recall bias, in which participants may under- or overreport the number of contacts they have made. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we observed that recorded contacts reduced dramatically compared to prepandemic levels (as measured in the POLYMOD study), with changes in reported contacts correlated with government interventions throughout the pandemic. Despite easing of restrictions in the summer of 2020, the mean number of reported contacts only returned to about half of that observed prepandemic at its highest recorded level. The CoMix survey provides a unique repeated cross-sectional data set for a full year in England, from the first day of the first lockdown, for use in statistical analyses and mathematical modelling of COVID-19 and other diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Social Interaction , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Attitude to Health , Cross-Sectional Studies , England , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Psychological , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
4.
BMJ Open ; 12(2): e051882, 2022 02 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673429

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: SARS-CoV-2 has disproportionately affected disadvantaged communities across the USA. Risk perceptions for social interactions and essential activities during the COVID-19 pandemic may vary by sociodemographic factors. METHODS: We conducted a nationally representative online survey of 1592 adults in the USA to understand risk perceptions related to transmission of COVID-19 for social (eg, visiting friends) and essential activities (eg, medical visits or returning to work). We assessed relationships for activities using bivariate comparisons and multivariable logistic regression modelling, between responses of safe and unsafe, and participant characteristics. Data were collected and analysed in 2020. RESULTS: Among 1592 participants, risk perceptions of unsafe for 13 activities ranged from 29.2% to 73.5%. Large gatherings, indoor dining and visits with elderly relatives had the highest proportion of unsafe responses (>58%), while activities outdoor, accessing healthcare and going to the grocery store had the lowest (<36%). Older respondents were more likely to view social gatherings and indoor activities as unsafe but less likely for other activities, such as going to the grocery store and accessing healthcare. Compared with white/Caucasian respondents, black/African-American and Hispanic/Latino respondents were more likely to view activities such as dining and visiting friends outdoor as unsafe. Generally, men versus women, Republicans versus Democrats and independents, and individuals with higher versus lower income were more likely to view activities as safe. CONCLUSION: Evidence-based interventions should be tailored to sociodemographic differences in risk perception, access to information and health behaviours when implementing efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Interaction , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States
5.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 136, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1666653

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Digital tools for social communication have been deployed in care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic to facilitate social connectedness between older people and their next of kin in a safe manner. This study explores how and why health care professionals facilitate the ad hoc and prompt use of a technology for social communication, known as KOMP, in care facilities in western Norway to promote communication and social engagement among residents and their next of kin during the crisis. METHODS: To investigate the perspectives and practices of health care professionals, we conducted focus groups, individual interviews, and participant observation in public short- and long-term care facilities in western Norway. An explorative investigation with inductive content analysis was applied to analyse interview transcripts and fieldnotes from participant observation. RESULTS: The resulting qualitative data reveal that prompt implementation of interactive technology to cope with social distancing during the pandemic added new routines to the staff workload. Using this interactive technology entailed new forms of collaborative work among residents, next of kin, health care professionals and technology facilitators. Additionally, the staff articulated a sense of responsibility towards using KOMP as a meaningful and practical tool for social communication in an extraordinary period of reduced social contact. CONCLUSIONS: Improvised implementation of KOMP as an interactive technology shapes work routines, introduces new tasks and creates additional responsibilities. Despite creative efforts by health care staff, however, using KOMP remains constrained by the physical and cognitive abilities of its users. We suggest that health care managers ask a deceptively simple question when introducing novel technologies in health care contexts, namely: what kind of invisible work do these devices entail?


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Aged , Communication , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Interaction
6.
Transl Psychiatry ; 12(1): 28, 2022 01 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1641939

ABSTRACT

Social integration is a major resilience factor for staying healthy. However, the COVID-19-pandemic led to unprecedented restrictions in social life. The consequences of these social lockdowns on momentary well-being are yet not fully understood. We investigated the affective benefit from social interactions in a longitudinal birth cohort. We used two real-time, real-life ecological momentary assessments once before and once during the initial lockdown of the pandemic (N = 70 participants; n~6800 observations) capturing the protective role of social interactions on well-being. Moreover, we used a multimethod approach to analyze ecological assessment data with individual risk and resilience factors, which are promising moderators in the relationship of social behavior, stress reactivity, and affective states (i.e., amygdala volume, neuroticism, polygenic risk for schizophrenia). Social contacts were linked to higher positive affect both during normal times and during the COVID-19-pandemic (beta coefficient = 0.1035), highlighting the beneficial role of social embedding. Interestingly, this relationship was differentially moderated by individual risk and resilience factors. In detail, participants with a larger left amygdala volume (beta coefficient = -0.0793) and higher neuroticism (beta coefficient = -0.0958) exhibited an affective benefit from more social interactions prior to the pandemic. This pattern changed during the pandemic with participants with smaller amygdala volumes and lower neurotic traits showing an affective gain during the pandemic. Moreover, participants with low genetic risk for schizophrenia showed an affective benefit (beta coefficient = -0.0528) from social interactions irrespective of the time point. Our results highlight the protective role of social integration on momentary well-being. Thereby, we offer new insights into how this relationship is differently affected by a person's neurobiology, personality, and genes under adverse circumstances.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurobiology , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Personality/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Interaction
7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(23)2021 11 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613797

ABSTRACT

The right to play is crucial for the overall development of children. Several studies highlight the need to have time and space to play, especially at school where children spend much of their time. Unfortunately, in formal education the obsession with academic achievements sidelines and ignores the importance of play. The neglection of play had already reached a critical stage before the pandemic, so data are needed to realize how the right to play in school is presently affected. This paper aims to understand children's play experience in primary education during the pandemic. It investigates what activities children participated in and what materials were used, and provides insight into the social interactions between peers. Furthermore, children's quality of life is explored. A group of 370 Portuguese children answered a questionnaire on play and social interactions, alongside with Peds 4.0TM on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The results showed that recess still emerges as a significant element of children's daily lives, but COVID-19 has brought limitations on play experiences and peer-interaction. It might also have impacted HRQOL, especially in emotional functioning. Since play, health and well-being are closely connected, play opportunities at school are crucial in helping children to thrive in the pandemic, and should be invested in.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Quality of Life , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , Social Interaction
8.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(12): e2140602, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597867

ABSTRACT

Importance: During the 2020-2021 academic year, many institutions of higher education reopened to residential students while pursuing strategies to mitigate the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission on campus. Reopening guidance emphasized polymerase chain reaction or antigen testing for residential students and social distancing measures to reduce the frequency of close interpersonal contact, and Connecticut colleges and universities used a variety of approaches to reopen campuses to residential students. Objective: To characterize institutional reopening strategies and COVID-19 outcomes in 18 residential college and university campuses across Connecticut. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study used data on COVID-19 testing and cases and social contact from 18 college and university campuses in Connecticut that had residential students during the 2020-2021 academic year. Exposures: Tests for COVID-19 performed per week per residential student. Main Outcomes and Measures: Cases per week per residential student and mean (95% CI) social contact per week per residential student. Results: Between 235 and 4603 residential students attended the fall semester across each of 18 institutions of higher education in Connecticut, with fewer residential students at most institutions during the spring semester. In census block groups containing residence halls, the fall student move-in resulted in a 475% (95% CI, 373%-606%) increase in mean contact, and the spring move-in resulted in a 561% (95% CI, 441%-713%) increase in mean contact compared with the 7 weeks prior to move-in. The association between test frequency and case rate per residential student was complex; institutions that tested students infrequently detected few cases but failed to blunt transmission, whereas institutions that tested students more frequently detected more cases and prevented further spread. In fall 2020, each additional test per student per week was associated with a decrease of 0.0014 cases per student per week (95% CI, -0.0028 to -0.00001). Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this cohort study suggest that, in the era of available vaccinations and highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants, colleges and universities should continue to test residential students and use mitigation strategies to control on-campus COVID-19 cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Universities , Adolescent , COVID-19/diagnosis , Connecticut/epidemiology , Female , Housing , Humans , Male , Mass Screening/methods , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Interaction , Young Adult
9.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 24051, 2021 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585803

ABSTRACT

Since the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, different mitigation and management strategies limiting economic and social activities have been implemented across many countries. Despite these strategies, the virus continues to spread and mutate. As a result, vaccinations are now administered to suppress the pandemic. Current COVID-19 epidemic models need to be expanded to account for the change in behaviour of new strains, such as an increased virulence and higher transmission rate. Furthermore, models need to account for an increasingly vaccinated population. We present a network model of COVID-19 transmission accounting for different immunity and vaccination scenarios. We conduct a parameter sensitivity analysis and find the average immunity length after an infection to be one of the most critical parameters that define the spread of the disease. Furthermore, we simulate different vaccination strategies and show that vaccinating highly connected individuals first is the quickest strategy for controlling the disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Mass Vaccination/psychology , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Mass Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Models, Theoretical , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Social Interaction
10.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 23349, 2021 12 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550342

ABSTRACT

In previous work, Giuntella et al. (Proc Natl Acad Sci 118:e2016632118, 2021), we documented large disruptions to physical activity, sleep, time use and mental health among young adults at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spring 2020. This study explores the trends 1 year into COVID-19, as vaccines began to roll out, COVID-19 deaths declined, and social distancing measures eased in the United States. We combine biometric and survey data from multiple cohorts of college students spanning Spring 2019 through Spring 2021 (N = 1179). Our results show persistent impacts of the pandemic on physical activity and mental health. One year into the pandemic, daily steps averaged about 6300 per day compared to about 9800 per day prior to the pandemic, a 35% decline. Almost half of participants were at risk of clinical depression compared to a little over one-third prior to the pandemic, a 36% increase. The impacts on screen time, social interactions and sleep duration at the onset of COVID-19 largely dissipated over the course of the pandemic, though screen time remained significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels. In contrast to the sharp changes in lifestyle and mental health documented as the pandemic emerged in March 2020, we do not find evidence of behavioral changes or improvements in mental well-being over the course of Spring 2021 as the pandemic eased.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Life Style , Mental Health , Biometry , COVID-19/epidemiology , Depression/psychology , Exercise/trends , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Pennsylvania/epidemiology , Screen Time , Sleep , Social Interaction , Students/psychology , Students/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , Universities/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
11.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260973, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546976

ABSTRACT

Contact between people with similar opinions and characteristics occurs at a higher rate than among other people, a phenomenon known as homophily. The presence of clusters of unvaccinated people has been associated with increased incidence of infectious disease outbreaks despite high population-wide vaccination rates. The epidemiological consequences of homophily regarding other beliefs as well as correlations among beliefs or circumstances are poorly understood, however. Here, we use a simple compartmental disease model as well as a more complex COVID-19 model to study how homophily and correlation of beliefs and circumstances in a social interaction network affect the probability of disease outbreak and COVID-19-related mortality. We find that the current social context, characterized by the presence of homophily and correlations between who vaccinates, who engages in risk reduction, and individual risk status, corresponds to a situation with substantially worse disease burden than in the absence of heterogeneities. In the presence of an effective vaccine, the effects of homophily and correlation of beliefs and circumstances become stronger. Further, the optimal vaccination strategy depends on the degree of homophily regarding vaccination status as well as the relative level of risk mitigation high- and low-risk individuals practice. The developed methods are broadly applicable to any investigation in which node attributes in a graph might reasonably be expected to cluster or exhibit correlations.


Subject(s)
Attitude to Health , COVID-19/psychology , Disease Outbreaks , Social Interaction , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Humans , Middle Aged , Social Identification , Social Networking , /statistics & numerical data
12.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(23)2021 11 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542524

ABSTRACT

The right to play is crucial for the overall development of children. Several studies highlight the need to have time and space to play, especially at school where children spend much of their time. Unfortunately, in formal education the obsession with academic achievements sidelines and ignores the importance of play. The neglection of play had already reached a critical stage before the pandemic, so data are needed to realize how the right to play in school is presently affected. This paper aims to understand children's play experience in primary education during the pandemic. It investigates what activities children participated in and what materials were used, and provides insight into the social interactions between peers. Furthermore, children's quality of life is explored. A group of 370 Portuguese children answered a questionnaire on play and social interactions, alongside with Peds 4.0TM on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The results showed that recess still emerges as a significant element of children's daily lives, but COVID-19 has brought limitations on play experiences and peer-interaction. It might also have impacted HRQOL, especially in emotional functioning. Since play, health and well-being are closely connected, play opportunities at school are crucial in helping children to thrive in the pandemic, and should be invested in.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Quality of Life , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , Social Interaction
13.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 22871, 2021 11 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537332

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed novel risks related to the indoor mixing of individuals from different households and challenged policymakers to adequately regulate this behaviour. While in many cases household visits are necessary for the purpose of social care, they have been linked to broadening community transmission of the virus. In this study we propose a novel, privacy-preserving framework for the measurement of household visitation at national and regional scales, making use of passively collected mobility data. We implement this approach in England from January 2020 to May 2021. The measures expose significant spatial and temporal variation in household visitation patterns, impacted by both national and regional lockdown policies, and the rollout of the vaccination programme. The findings point to complex social processes unfolding differently over space and time, likely informed by variations in policy adherence, vaccine relaxation, and regional interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Social Support/psychology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/trends , England , Family Characteristics , Health Policy/trends , Humans , Immunization Programs/methods , Models, Statistical , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Public Policy/trends , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Social Interaction/classification , Social Support/methods , Vaccines
14.
Sensors (Basel) ; 21(21)2021 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512561

ABSTRACT

Sustained attention is essential for older adults to maintain an active lifestyle, and the deficiency of this function is often associated with health-related risks such as falling and frailty. The present study examined whether the well-established age-effect on reducing mind-wandering, the drift to internal thoughts that are seen to be detrimental to attentional control, could be replicated by using a robotic experimenter for older adults who are not as familiar with online technologies. A total of 28 younger and 22 older adults performed a Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) by answering thought probes regarding their attention states and providing confidence ratings for their own task performances. The indices from the modified SART suggested a well-documented conservative response strategy endorsed by older adults, which were represented by slower responses and increased omission errors. Moreover, the slower responses and increased omissions were found to be associated with less self-reported mind-wandering, thus showing consistency with their higher subjective ratings of attentional control. Overall, this study demonstrates the potential of constructing age-related cognitive profiles with attention evaluation instruction based on a social companion robot for older adults at home.


Subject(s)
Robotics , Aged , Humans , Memory, Short-Term , Self Report , Social Interaction , Task Performance and Analysis
15.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(10): e1009474, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477508

ABSTRACT

The role of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is unclear. To address this gap, we simulated the release of SARS-CoV-2 in a multistory office building and three social gathering settings (bar/restaurant, nightclub, wedding venue) using a well-mixed, multi-zone building model similar to those used by Wells, Riley, and others. We varied key factors of HVAC systems, such as the Air Changes Per Hour rate (ACH), Fraction of Outside Air (FOA), and Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV) to examine their effect on viral transmission, and additionally simulated the protective effects of in-unit ultraviolet light decontamination (UVC) and separate in-room air filtration. In all building types, increasing the ACH reduced simulated infections, and the effects were seen even with low aerosol emission rates. However, the benefits of increasing the fraction of outside air and filter efficiency rating were greatest when the aerosol emission rate was high. UVC filtration improved the performance of typical HVAC systems. In-room filtration in an office setting similarly reduced overall infections but worked better when placed in every room. Overall, we found little evidence that HVAC systems facilitate SARS-CoV-2 transmission; most infections in the simulated office occurred near the emission source, with some infections in individuals temporarily visiting the release zone. HVAC systems only increased infections in one scenario involving a marginal increase in airflow in a poorly ventilated space, which slightly increased the likelihood of transmission outside the release zone. We found that improving air circulation rates, increasing filter MERV rating, increasing the fraction of outside air, and applying UVC radiation and in-room filtration may reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission indoors. However, these mitigation measures are unlikely to provide a protective benefit unless SARS-CoV-2 aerosol emission rates are high (>1,000 Plaque-forming units (PFU) / min).


Subject(s)
Air Conditioning , COVID-19/transmission , Heating , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilation , Aerosols , Air Microbiology , Air Movements , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Computational Biology , Computer Simulation , Humans , Models, Biological , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/radiation effects , Social Interaction , Ultraviolet Rays , Workplace
16.
Inquiry ; 58: 469580211044287, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455839

ABSTRACT

The present study aimed to systematically analyze the impact of COVID-19-related social distancing requirements on older adults living in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) and to synthesize the literature into thematic action plans to minimize the adverse effects of social isolation. The search included articles published between December 2019 and August 2020 across four databases. The inclusion criteria were used to screen for studies that reported on social isolation and loneliness due to the COVID-19 pandemic in older adults living in LTCFs. This rapid review identified 29 relevant studies and synthesized them into four thematic action plans: technological advancement, remote communication, therapeutic care/stress management, and preventive measures. These thematic action plans and cost-effective strategies can be immediately adopted and used as a resource for all LTCF administrators, healthcare design professionals, and researchers in battling current COVID-19-related issues, and improving social interaction in older adults living in care facilities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Aged , Humans , Long-Term Care , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Interaction
17.
J Korean Med Sci ; 36(38): e272, 2021 Oct 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450797

ABSTRACT

The proportion of population vaccinated cannot be directly translated into the herd immunity. We have to account for the age-stratified contact patterns to calculate the population immunity level, since not every individual gathers evenly. Here, we calculated the contact-adjusted population immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in South Korea using age-specific incidence and vaccine uptake rate. We further explored options to achieve the theoretical herd immunity with age-varying immunity scenarios. As of June 21, 2021, when a quarter of the population received at least one dose of a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine, the contact-adjusted immunity level was 12.5% under the social distancing level 1. When 80% of individuals aged 10 years and over gained immunity, we could achieve a 58.2% contact-adjusted immunity level. The pros and cons of vaccinating children should be weighed since the risks of COVID-19 for the young are less than the elderly, and the long-term safety of vaccines is still obscure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Herd/immunology , Mass Vaccination , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Republic of Korea , Social Interaction
18.
J Am Coll Cardiol ; 77(8): 1139-1140, 2021 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440139
19.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257684, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430550

ABSTRACT

Ensuring the safety of healthcare workers is vital to overcome the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We here present an analysis of the social interactions between the healthcare workers at hospitals and nursing homes. Using data from an automated hand hygiene system, we inferred social interactions between healthcare workers to identify transmission paths of infection in hospitals and nursing homes. A majority of social interactions occurred in medication rooms and kitchens emphasising that health-care workers should be especially aware of following the infection prevention guidelines in these places. Using epidemiology simulations of disease at the locations, we found no need to quarantine all healthcare workers at work with a contagious colleague. Only 14.1% and 24.2% of the health-care workers in the hospitals and nursing homes are potentially infected when we disregard hand sanitization and assume the disease is very infectious. Based on our simulations, we observe a 41% and 26% reduction in the number of infected healthcare workers at the hospital and nursing home, when we assume that hand sanitization reduces the spread by 20% from people to people and 99% from people to objects. The analysis and results presented here forms a basis for future research to explore the potential of a fully automated contact tracing systems.


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases/transmission , Hospitals , Nursing Homes , Social Interaction , Computer Simulation , Denmark/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Humans , Risk Factors
20.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(35): 1195-1200, 2021 Sep 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412223

ABSTRACT

To prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, colleges and universities have implemented multiple strategies including testing, isolation, quarantine, contact tracing, masking, and vaccination. In April 2021, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) was notified of a large cluster of students with COVID-19 at an urban university after spring break. A total of 158 cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed among undergraduate students during March 15-May 3, 2021; the majority (114; 72.2%) lived in on-campus dormitories. CDPH evaluated the role of travel and social connections, as well as the potential impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants, on transmission. Among 140 infected students who were interviewed, 89 (63.6%) reported recent travel outside Chicago during spring break, and 57 (40.7%) reported indoor social exposures. At the time of the outbreak, undergraduate-aged persons were largely ineligible for vaccination in Chicago; only three of the students with COVID-19 (1.9%) were fully vaccinated. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of 104 specimens revealed multiple distinct SARS-CoV-2 lineages, suggesting several nearly simultaneous introductions. Most specimens (66; 63.5%) were B.1.1.222, a lineage not widely detected in Chicago before or after this outbreak. These results demonstrate the potential for COVID-19 outbreaks on university campuses after widespread student travel during breaks, at the beginning of new school terms, and when students participate in indoor social gatherings. To prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission, colleges and universities should encourage COVID-19 vaccination; discourage unvaccinated students from travel, including during university breaks; implement serial COVID-19 screening among unvaccinated persons after university breaks; encourage masking; and implement universal serial testing for students based on community transmission levels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Disease Outbreaks , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Students/statistics & numerical data , Universities , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Chicago/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Social Interaction , Travel-Related Illness , Young Adult
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