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1.
Am J Public Health ; 111(10): 1772-1775, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690609

ABSTRACT

Rapid identification and management of students with COVID-19 symptoms, exposure, or disease are critical to halting disease spread and protecting public health. We describe the interdisciplinary isolation and quarantine program of a large, public university, the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. The program provided students with wraparound services, including medical, mental health, academic, and other support services during their isolation or quarantine stay. The program successfully accommodated 844 cases during the fall 2020 semester, thereby decreasing exposure to the rest of the university and the local community. (Am J Public Health. 2021;111(10):1772-1775. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2021.306424).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Quarantine/psychology , Social Isolation/psychology , Students/psychology , Universities/organization & administration , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Patient Care Team , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Support , Virginia
2.
CMAJ Open ; 9(4): E1252-E1259, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1591924

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, universities transitioned to primarily online delivery, and it is important to understand what implications the transition back to in-person activities may have on spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the student population. The specific aim of our study was to provide insights into the effect of timetabling decisions on the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in a population of undergraduate engineering students. METHODS: We developed an agent-based modelling simulation that used a Canadian first-year undergraduate engineering program with an enrolment of 180 students in 5 courses of 12.7 weeks in length. Each course involved 150 minutes of lectures and 110 minutes of tutorials or laboratories per week. We considered several online and in-person timetabling scenarios with different scheduling frequencies and section sizes, in combination with surveillance and testing interventions. The study was conducted from May 1 to Aug. 31, 2021. RESULTS: When timetabling interventions were applied, we found a reduction in the mean number of students who were infected and that a containment of widespread outbreaks could be achieved. Timetables with online lectures and small (1/6 class capacity) tutorial or laboratory sections reduced the mean number of students who were infected by 83% and reduced the risk of large outbreaks that occurred with in-person lectures. We also found that spread of SARS-CoV-2 was less sensitive to class size than to contact frequency when a biweekly timetable was implemented (i.e., alternating online and in-person sections on a biweekly basis). Including a contact-tracing policy and randomized testing to the timetabling interventions helped to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 further. Vaccination coverage had the largest effect on reducing the number of students who were infected. INTERPRETATION: Our modelling showed that by taking advantage of timetabling opportunities and applying appropriate interventions (contact tracing, randomized testing and vaccination), SARS-CoV-2 infections may be averted and disruptions (case isolations) reduced. However, given the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants, transitions from online to in-person classes should proceed cautiously from small biweekly classes, for example, to manage risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Decision Making, Organizational , Engineering/education , Infection Control/methods , Universities , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Canada , Humans , Students , Time Factors , Universities/organization & administration , Young Adult
3.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(10): e1009462, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523395

ABSTRACT

The ever increasing applications of bioinformatics in providing effective interpretation of large and complex biological data require expertise in the use of sophisticated computational tools and advanced statistical tests, skills that are mostly lacking in the Sudanese research community. This can be attributed to paucity in the development and promotion of bioinformatics, lack of senior bioinformaticians, and the general status quo of inadequate research funding in Sudan. In this paper, we describe the challenges that have encountered the development of bioinformatics as a discipline in Sudan. Additionally, we highlight on specific actions that may help develop and promote its education and training. The paper takes the National University Biomedical Research Institute (NUBRI) as an example of an institute that has tackled many of these challenges and strives to drive powerful efforts in the development of bioinformatics in the country.


Subject(s)
Computational Biology , Universities/organization & administration , Computational Biology/education , Computational Biology/organization & administration , Developing Countries , Humans , Sudan
4.
FASEB J ; 35(11): e21973, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462504

ABSTRACT

Contemporary science has become increasingly multi-disciplinary and team-based, resulting in unprecedented growth in biomedical innovation and technology over the last several decades. Collaborative research efforts have enabled investigators to respond to the demands of an increasingly complex 21st century landscape, including pressing scientific challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. A major contributing factor to the success of team science is the mobilization of core facilities and shared research resources (SRRs), the scientific instrumentation and expertise that exist within research organizations that enable widespread access to advanced technologies for trainees, faculty, and staff. For over 40 years, SRRs have played a key role in accelerating biomedical research discoveries, yet a national strategy that addresses how to leverage these resources to enhance team science and achieve shared scientific goals is noticeably absent. We believe a national strategy for biomedical SRRs-led by the National Institutes of Health-is crucial to advance key national initiatives, enable long-term research efficiency, and provide a solid foundation for the next generation of scientists.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Intersectoral Collaboration , National Institutes of Health (U.S.)/organization & administration , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Academies and Institutes/organization & administration , Career Mobility , Congresses as Topic , Humans , Policy , Program Evaluation , Research Support as Topic , Societies, Scientific/organization & administration , Stakeholder Participation , United States , Universities/organization & administration
6.
Ann Glob Health ; 87(1): 90, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436228

ABSTRACT

Sustainable and equitable partnerships and collaborations between the Global North and Global South (as well as within the Global South) have been aspirations (if seldom achieved) of the "global health" endeavor over the past couple of decades. The COVID-19 pandemic led to global lockdowns that disrupted international travel and severely challenged these partnerships, providing a critical space for self-reflection on global health as a discipline. One major global north-south partnership is that between the African Forum for Research and Education in Health (AFREhealth) and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH). This article reports on a recent Satellite meeting of the AFREhealth-CUGH Working Group (ACWG) at the CUGH 2021 virtual conference in March 2021 that provided insights on North-South and South-South global health partnerships, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors describe challenges and opportunities for research and education in these partnerships (as discussed at this ACWG Satellite meeting), and implications for the field of global health going forward as we emerge from the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Global Health , International Cooperation , Pandemics , Africa/epidemiology , Biomedical Research/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Congresses as Topic , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Universities/organization & administration
8.
Am J Public Health ; 111(10): 1772-1775, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416981

ABSTRACT

Rapid identification and management of students with COVID-19 symptoms, exposure, or disease are critical to halting disease spread and protecting public health. We describe the interdisciplinary isolation and quarantine program of a large, public university, the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. The program provided students with wraparound services, including medical, mental health, academic, and other support services during their isolation or quarantine stay. The program successfully accommodated 844 cases during the fall 2020 semester, thereby decreasing exposure to the rest of the university and the local community. (Am J Public Health. 2021;111(10):1772-1775. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2021.306424).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Quarantine/psychology , Social Isolation/psychology , Students/psychology , Universities/organization & administration , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Patient Care Team , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Support , Virginia
9.
Am J Public Health ; 111(10): 1776-1779, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403353

ABSTRACT

We describe a large-scale collaborative intervention of practice measures and COVID-19 vaccine administration to college students in the priority 1b group, which included Black or Indigenous persons and other persons of color. In February 2021, at this decentralized vaccine distribution site at Montana State University in Bozeman, we administered 806 first doses and 776 second doses by implementing an interprofessional effort with personnel from relevant university units, including facilities management, student health, communications, administration, and academic units (e.g., nursing, medicine, medical assistant program, and engineering). (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print September 9, 2021:1776-1779. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2021.306435).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Mass Vaccination/organization & administration , Universities/organization & administration , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/ethnology , Faculty , Humans , Middle Aged , Montana/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Students , Young Adult
10.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(1): 14-19, 2021 Jan 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1395388

ABSTRACT

During early August 2020, county-level incidence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) generally decreased across the United States, compared with incidence earlier in the summer (1); however, among young adults aged 18-22 years, incidence increased (2). Increases in incidence among adults aged ≥60 years, who might be more susceptible to severe COVID-19-related illness, have followed increases in younger adults (aged 20-39 years) by an average of 8.7 days (3). Institutions of higher education (colleges and universities) have been identified as settings where incidence among young adults increased during August (4,5). Understanding the extent to which these settings have affected county-level COVID-19 incidence can inform ongoing college and university operations and future planning. To evaluate the effect of large colleges or universities and school instructional format* (remote or in-person) on COVID-19 incidence, start dates and instructional formats for the fall 2020 semester were identified for all not-for-profit large U.S. colleges and universities (≥20,000 total enrolled students). Among counties with large colleges and universities (university counties) included in the analysis, remote-instruction university counties (22) experienced a 17.9% decline in mean COVID-19 incidence during the 21 days before through 21 days after the start of classes (from 17.9 to 14.7 cases per 100,000), and in-person instruction university counties (79) experienced a 56.2% increase in COVID-19 incidence, from 15.3 to 23.9 cases per 100,000. Counties without large colleges and universities (nonuniversity counties) (3,009) experienced a 5.9% decline in COVID-19 incidence, from 15.3 to 14.4 cases per 100,000. Similar findings were observed for percentage of positive test results and hotspot status (i.e., increasing among in-person-instruction university counties). In-person instruction at colleges and universities was associated with increased county-level COVID-19 incidence and percentage test positivity. Implementation of increased mitigation efforts at colleges and universities could minimize on-campus COVID-19 transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Universities/organization & administration , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , Middle Aged , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
11.
Ann Intern Med ; 174(11): 1563-1571, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1378494

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Effective vaccines, improved testing technologies, and decreases in COVID-19 incidence prompt an examination of the choices available to residential college administrators seeking to safely resume in-person campus activities in fall 2021. OBJECTIVE: To help college administrators design and evaluate customized COVID-19 safety plans. DESIGN: Decision analysis using a compartmental epidemic model to optimize vaccination, testing, and other nonpharmaceutical interventions depending on decision makers' preferences, choices, and assumptions about epidemic severity and vaccine effectiveness against infection, transmission, and disease progression. SETTING: U.S. residential colleges. PARTICIPANTS: Hypothetical cohort of 5000 persons (students, faculty, and staff) living and working in close proximity on campus. MEASUREMENTS: Cumulative infections over a 120-day semester. RESULTS: Under base-case assumptions, if 90% coverage can be attained with a vaccine that is 85% protective against infection and 25% protective against asymptomatic transmission, the model finds that campus activities can be resumed while holding cumulative cases below 5% of the population without the need for routine, asymptomatic testing. With 50% population coverage using such a vaccine, a similar cap on cumulative cases would require either daily asymptomatic testing of unvaccinated persons or a combination of less frequent testing and resumption of aggressive distancing and other nonpharmaceutical prevention policies. Colleges returning to pre-COVID-19 campus activities without either broad vaccination coverage or high-frequency testing put their campus population at risk for widespread viral transmission. LIMITATION: Uncertainty in data, particularly vaccine effectiveness (preventive and transmission); no distinguishing between students and employees; and assumes limited community intermixing. CONCLUSION: Vaccination coverage is the most powerful tool available to residential college administrators seeking to achieve a safe return to prepandemic operations this fall. Given the breadth of potential outcomes in the face of uncontrollable and uncertain factors, even colleges with high vaccination rates should be prepared to reinstitute or expand testing and distancing policies on short notice. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: National Institute on Drug Abuse.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Universities/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , Decision Support Techniques , Humans , Incidence , Mass Screening , Pandemics , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
13.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 100(31): e26776, 2021 Aug 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354338

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: The coronavirus (COVID-19) disease outbreak was a public health emergency of international concern which eventually evolved into a pandemic. Nigeria was locked down in March, 2020 as the country battled to contain the spread of the disease. By August 2020, phase-by-phase easing of the lockdown was commenced and university students will soon return for academic activities. This study undertakes some epidemiological analysis of the Nigerian COVID-19 data to help the government and university administrators make informed decisions on the safety of personnel and students.The COVID-19 data on confirmed cases, deaths, and recovered were obtained from the website of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) from April 2, 2020 to August 24, 2020. The infection rate, prevalence, ratio, cause-specific death rate, and case recovery rate were used to evaluate the epidemiological characteristics of the pandemic in Nigeria. Exponential smoothing was adopted in modeling the time series data and forecasting the pandemic in Nigeria up to January 31, 2021.The results indicated that the pandemic had infection rate of at most 3 infections per 1 million per day from April to August 2020. The death rate was 5 persons per 1 million during the period of study while recovery rate was 747 persons per 1000 infections. Analysis of forecast data showed steady but gradual decrease in the daily infection rate and death rate and substantial increase in the recovery rate, 975 recoveries per 1000 infections.In general, the epidemiological attributes of the pandemic from the original data and the forecast data indicated optimism in the decrease in the rate of infection and death in the future. Moreover, the infection rate, prevalence and death rate in January 2021 coincided with the predictions based on the analysis. Therefore, the Nigerian government is encouraged to allow universities in the country to reopen while university administrators set up the necessary protocols for strict adherence to safety measures.


Subject(s)
Administrative Personnel , COVID-19/mortality , Forecasting/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Nigeria , Prevalence , Universities/organization & administration , Universities/statistics & numerical data
14.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0255635, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1341506

ABSTRACT

The current pandemic has revolutionized medical education with a rapid shift to online teaching and learning strategies. The students have coped by turning to the online resources to keep pace with the change. To determine the type and practice of online resources used by undergraduate medical students and compare the use of online resources with gender and GPA. This was a cross-sectional study in which an online self-administered questionnaire was used to evaluate the type and practices of the online resources used by the medical students during the Covid-19 pandemic. Complete enumeration sampling method was used to collect the data from 180 medical students studying at College of Medicine, Majmaah University, Saudi Arabia. One hundred and thirty students (72.2%) were unaware of the free online resources offered by the University. Most students (58.3%, n = 105) consulted peers for online references. Male students preferred PowerPoint presentations and consulting online resources for studying as compared to the females, whereas females preferred to study textbooks predominantly as compared to males (p = 0.005). Male students significantly shifted to the online resources during the COVID-19 pandemic as compared to females (p = 0.028). Students with the highest GPA scores shifted to online educational resources during pandemic. A significant proportion of the undergraduate medical students at College of Medicine, Majmaah University used online educational resources for learning. We recommend that the college administration for deliberation with the medical educationalists for necessary curricular amendments and taking necessary steps to make the college Academic supervision and mentorship program more proactive to meet the challenges of students' use of online educational resources.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Education, Distance , Education, Medical, Undergraduate , Adolescent , Adult , Consumer Behavior/statistics & numerical data , Cross-Sectional Studies , Education, Distance/statistics & numerical data , Education, Medical, Undergraduate/methods , Education, Medical, Undergraduate/organization & administration , Educational Measurement , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Schools, Medical/organization & administration , Students, Medical/psychology , Students, Medical/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , Universities/organization & administration , Young Adult
15.
Nurs Adm Q ; 45(4): 346-352, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328957

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented event that impacted every segment of healthcare, including universities preparing healthcare professionals. Instituting processes to coordinate student return to campus and ongoing COVID-19 testing and contract tracing challenged university campuses, but also brought opportunities for collaboration. This article reports on the experiences of one nonprofit private higher education university in management of the COVID-19 testing and contact tracing that were led by school of nursing faculty and nursing leadership.


Subject(s)
Contact Tracing/methods , Faculty, Nursing/organization & administration , Leadership , Universities/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Cooperative Behavior , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Student Health Services/organization & administration , Students
17.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(6): e2116425, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281193

ABSTRACT

Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted US educational institutions. Given potential adverse financial and psychosocial effects of campus closures, many institutions developed strategies to reopen campuses in the fall 2020 semester despite the ongoing threat of COVID-19. However, many institutions opted to have limited campus reopening to minimize potential risk of spread of SARS-CoV-2. Objective: To analyze how Boston University (BU) fully reopened its campus in the fall of 2020 and controlled COVID-19 transmission despite worsening transmission in Boston, Massachusetts. Design, Setting, and Participants: This multifaceted intervention case series was conducted at a large urban university campus in Boston, Massachusetts, during the fall 2020 semester. The BU response included a high-throughput SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction testing facility with capacity to deliver results in less than 24 hours; routine asymptomatic screening for COVID-19; daily health attestations; adherence monitoring and feedback; robust contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation in on-campus facilities; face mask use; enhanced hand hygiene; social distancing recommendations; dedensification of classrooms and public places; and enhancement of all building air systems. Data were analyzed from December 20, 2020, to January 31, 2021. Main Outcomes and Measures: SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis confirmed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction of anterior nares specimens and sources of transmission, as determined through contact tracing. Results: Between August and December 2020, BU conducted more than 500 000 COVID-19 tests and identified 719 individuals with COVID-19, including 496 students (69.0%), 11 faculty (1.5%), and 212 staff (29.5%). Overall, 718 individuals, or 1.8% of the BU community, had test results positive for SARS-CoV-2. Of 837 close contacts traced, 86 individuals (10.3%) had test results positive for COVID-19. BU contact tracers identified a source of transmission for 370 individuals (51.5%), with 206 individuals (55.7%) identifying a non-BU source. Among 5 faculty and 84 staff with SARS-CoV-2 with a known source of infection, most reported a transmission source outside of BU (all 5 faculty members [100%] and 67 staff members [79.8%]). A BU source was identified by 108 of 183 undergraduate students with SARS-CoV-2 (59.0%) and 39 of 98 graduate students with SARS-CoV-2 (39.8%); notably, no transmission was traced to a classroom setting. Conclusions and Relevance: In this case series of COVID-19 transmission, BU used a coordinated strategy of testing, contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine, with robust management and oversight, to control COVID-19 transmission in an urban university setting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Infection Control/standards , Universities/trends , Urban Population/statistics & numerical data , Boston/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Contact Tracing/instrumentation , Contact Tracing/methods , Hand Hygiene/methods , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/statistics & numerical data , Quarantine/methods , Universities/organization & administration
19.
Salud Colect ; 17: e3341, 2021 05 28.
Article in Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262710

ABSTRACT

This article critically analyzes local governments' abilities to face the COVID-19 pandemic by examining an instance of technical-scientific cooperation between a municipality and a university located in the northern Rio de Janeiro (state) beginning in April 2020. This collaboration included: the implementation of a situation room, data processing and analysis for decision making and for public communication, a telemonitoring center, ongoing training with territorial healthcare teams, and an epidemiological study of COVID-19 in the municipality, among other actions. We situate our analysis within a conceptual framework that adopts a micropolitical view of concepts such as experience, pragmatism, "live work in action," and desire. The notion of "planning-doing" is deployed as an inventive form of planning that is only narrated a posteriori, as an imperative act, a live government in action that depends on the movement of desire oriented by life, and that only takes place in collective spaces of management practices and health care.


Este artículo problematiza las posibilidades municipales de hacer frente a la pandemia de COVID-19, a partir de la cooperación técnico-científica entre un municipio y una universidad del norte del estado de Rio de Janeiro, a partir de abril de 2020, que involucró la implementación de una sala de situación, procesamiento y análisis de datos para la toma de decisiones y de información para la población, centro de televigilancia, educación permanente con equipos territoriales de atención y estudio epidemiológico de COVID-19 en el municipio, entre otras acciones. En este análisis se utilizó como soporte conceptual una visión micropolítica de los conceptos de experiencia, pragmatismo, trabajo vivo en acto y deseo. La noción de "planhaciendo" se retomó como una planificación inventiva que solo puede ser narrada a posteriori, un acto imperativo, un gobierno vivo en acto que depende de un movimiento anhelante orientado por la vida, y que solo se da en espacios colectivos de prácticas de gestión y de atención a la salud.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Community Health Planning/organization & administration , Intersectoral Collaboration , Local Government , Pandemics/prevention & control , Universities/organization & administration , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Community-Based Participatory Research , Health Policy , Humans
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