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Accepted manuscript

Healthcare Worker Safety Program in a COVID-19 Alternate Care Site: The Javits New York Medical Station Experience

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 April 2022

Chad Nathaniel Thompson
Affiliation:
U.S. Public Health Service, Washington, D.C. U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD
Christopher Mugford
Affiliation:
U.S. Public Health Service, Washington, D.C. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.
Joel Robert Merriman
Affiliation:
U.S. Public Health Service, Washington, D.C. U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD
Mark A. Chen
Affiliation:
U.S. Public Health Service, Washington, D.C. U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD
Joseph D. Hutter
Affiliation:
U.S. Public Health Service, Washington, D.C. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Baltimore, MD
Thomas J. Maruna
Affiliation:
U.S. Public Health Service, Washington, D.C. U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD
Wanza R. Bacon
Affiliation:
U.S. Public Health Service, Washington, D.C.
Richard W. Childs
Affiliation:
U.S. Public Health Service, Washington, D.C. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
Ritu Pati
Affiliation:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Guy Travis Clifton
Affiliation:
Department of Defense, Washington, DC
Renee M. Pazdan*
Affiliation:
U.S. Public Health Service, Washington, D.C. Department of Defense, Washington, DC
*
*Corresponding author: Renee M. Pazdan, MD, 1650 Cochrane Circle, Ft. Carson, CO 80913; email: rpazdan.md@gmail.com

Abstract

Objective:

In March 2020, New York City (NYC) became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States (US). As healthcare facilities were overwhelmed with patients, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center was transformed into the nation’s largest alternate care site (ACS): Javits New York Medical Station (Javits). Protecting healthcare workers during a global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in a non-traditional healthcare setting posed unique challenges. We describe components of the healthcare worker safety program implemented at Javits.

Setting:

Javits, a large convention center transformed into a field hospital, with clinical staff from the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS) and the Department of Defense (DoD).

Healthcare Worker Safety Methods:

Key strategies included ensuring one-way flow of traffic on and off the patient floor; developing a matrix detailing PPE required for each work activity and location; PPE extended use and reuse protocols; personnel training; and monitoring adherence to PPE donning/doffing protocols when entering or exiting the patient floor. Javits staff who reported COVID-19 symptoms were immediately isolated, monitored, and offered a SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.

Conclusions:

A well-designed and implemented healthcare worker safety plan can minimize the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection for healthcare workers. The lessons learned from operating the nation’s largest COVID-19 ACS can be adapted to other environments during public health emergencies.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
© 2022 by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. All rights reserved.

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