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To characterize residential social vulnerability among healthcare personnel (HCP) and evaluate its association with severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.
This study analyzed data collected in May–December 2020 through sentinel and population-based surveillance in healthcare facilities in Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, and Oregon.
Data from 2,168 HCP (1,571 cases and 597 controls from the same facilities) were analyzed.
HCP residential addresses were linked to the social vulnerability index (SVI) at the census tract level, which represents a ranking of community vulnerability to emergencies based on 15 US Census variables. The primary outcome was SARS-CoV-2 infection, confirmed by positive antigen or real-time reverse-transcriptase– polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test on nasopharyngeal swab. Significant differences by SVI in participant characteristics were assessed using the Fisher exact test. Adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations between case status and SVI, controlling for HCP role and patient care activities, were estimated using logistic regression.
Significantly higher proportions of certified nursing assistants (48.0%) and medical assistants (44.1%) resided in high SVI census tracts, compared to registered nurses (15.9%) and physicians (11.6%). HCP cases were more likely than controls to live in high SVI census tracts (aOR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.37–2.26).
These findings suggest that residing in more socially vulnerable census tracts may be associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection risk among HCP and that residential vulnerability differs by HCP role. Efforts to safeguard the US healthcare workforce and advance health equity should address the social determinants that drive racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic health disparities.
Background: Healthcare facilities have experienced many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, including limited personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies. Healthcare personnel (HCP) rely on PPE, vaccines, and other infection control measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections. We describe PPE concerns reported by HCP who had close contact with COVID-19 patients in the workplace and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Method: The CDC collaborated with Emerging Infections Program (EIP) sites in 10 states to conduct surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 infections in HCP. EIP staff interviewed HCP with positive SARS-CoV-2 viral tests (ie, cases) to collect data on demographics, healthcare roles, exposures, PPE use, and concerns about their PPE use during COVID-19 patient care in the 14 days before the HCP’s SARS-CoV-2 positive test. PPE concerns were qualitatively coded as being related to supply (eg, low quality, shortages); use (eg, extended use, reuse, lack of fit test); or facility policy (eg, lack of guidance). We calculated and compared the percentages of cases reporting each concern type during the initial phase of the pandemic (April–May 2020), during the first US peak of daily COVID-19 cases (June–August 2020), and during the second US peak (September 2020–January 2021). We compared percentages using mid-P or Fisher exact tests (α = 0.05). Results: Among 1,998 HCP cases occurring during April 2020–January 2021 who had close contact with COVID-19 patients, 613 (30.7%) reported ≥1 PPE concern (Table 1). The percentage of cases reporting supply or use concerns was higher during the first peak period than the second peak period (supply concerns: 12.5% vs 7.5%; use concerns: 25.5% vs 18.2%; p Conclusions: Although lower percentages of HCP cases overall reported PPE concerns after the first US peak, our results highlight the importance of developing capacity to produce and distribute PPE during times of increased demand. The difference we observed among selected groups of cases may indicate that PPE access and use were more challenging for some, such as nonphysicians and nursing home HCP. These findings underscore the need to ensure that PPE is accessible and used correctly by HCP for whom use is recommended.
Healthcare personnel with severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were interviewed to describe activities and practices in and outside the workplace. Among 2,625 healthcare personnel, workplace-related factors that may increase infection risk were more common among nursing-home personnel than hospital personnel, whereas selected factors outside the workplace were more common among hospital personnel.
Background: With an aging population, increasingly complex care, and frequent re-admissions, prevention of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in nursing homes (NHs) is a federal priority. However, few contemporary sources of HAI data exist to inform surveillance, prevention, and policy. Prevalence surveys (PSs) are an efficient approach to generating data to measure the burden and describe the types of HAI. In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) performed its first large-scale HAI PS through the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) to measure the prevalence and describe the epidemiology of HAI in NH residents. Methods: NHs from several states (CA, CO, CT, GA, MD, MN, NM, NY, OR, & TN) were randomly selected and asked to participate in a 1-day HAI PS between April and October 2017; participation was voluntary. EIP staff reviewed available medical records for NH residents present on the survey date to collect demographic and basic clinical information and infection signs and symptoms. HAIs with onset on or after NH day 3 were identified using revised McGeer infection definitions applied to data collected by EIP staff and were reported to the CDC through a web-based system. Data were reviewed by CDC staff for potential errors and to validate HAI classifications prior to analysis. HAI prevalence, number of residents with >1 HAI per number of surveyed residents ×100, and 95% CIs were calculated overall (pooled mean) and for selected resident characteristics. Data were analyzed using SAS v9.4 software. Results: Among 15,296 residents in 161 NHs, 358 residents with 375 HAIs were identified. The most common HAI sites were skin (32%), respiratory tract (29%), and urinary tract (20%). Cellulitis, soft-tissue or wound infection, symptomatic UTI, and cold or pharyngitis were the most common individual HAIs (Fig. 1). Overall HAI prevalence was 2.3 per 100 residents (95% CI, 2.1–2.6); at the NH level, the median HAI prevalence was 1.8 and ranged from 0 to 14.3 (interquartile range, 0–3.1). At the resident level (Fig. 2), HAI prevalence was significantly higher in persons admitted for postacute care with diabetes, with a pressure ulcer, receiving wound care, or with a device. Conclusions: In this large-scale survey, 1 in 43 NH residents had an HAI on a given day. Three HAI types comprised >80% of infections. In addition to identifying characteristics that place residents at higher risk for HAIs, these findings provide important data on HAI epidemiology in NHs that can be used to expand HAI surveillance and inform prevention policies and practices.
Background: Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in nursing homes; urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a frequent indication. Although there is no gold standard for the diagnosis of UTIs, various criteria have been developed to inform and standardize nursing home prescribing decisions, with the goal of reducing unnecessary antibiotic prescribing. Using different published criteria designed to guide decisions on initiating treatment of UTIs (ie, symptomatic, catheter-associated, and uncomplicated cystitis), our objective was to assess the appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing among NH residents. Methods: In 2017, the CDC Emerging Infections Program (EIP) performed a prevalence survey of healthcare-associated infections and antibiotic use in 161 nursing homes from 10 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Tennessee. EIP staff reviewed resident medical records to collect demographic and clinical information, infection signs, symptoms, and diagnostic testing documented on the day an antibiotic was initiated and 6 days prior. We applied 4 criteria to determine whether initiation of treatment for UTI was supported: (1) the Loeb minimum clinical criteria (Loeb); (2) the Suspected UTI Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendation tool (UTI SBAR tool); (3) adaptation of Infectious Diseases Society of America UTI treatment guidelines for nursing home residents (Crnich & Drinka); and (4) diagnostic criteria for uncomplicated cystitis (cystitis consensus) (Fig. 1). We calculated the percentage of residents for whom initiating UTI treatment was appropriate by these criteria. Results: Of 248 residents for whom UTI treatment was initiated in the nursing home, the median age was 79 years [IQR, 19], 63% were female, and 35% were admitted for postacute care. There was substantial variability in the percentage of residents with antibiotic initiation classified as appropriate by each of the criteria, ranging from 8% for the cystitis consensus, to 27% for Loeb, to 33% for the UTI SBAR tool, to 51% for Crnich and Drinka (Fig. 2). Conclusions: Appropriate initiation of UTI treatment among nursing home residents remained low regardless of criteria used. At best only half of antibiotic treatment met published prescribing criteria. Although insufficient documentation of infection signs, symptoms and testing may have contributed to the low percentages observed, adequate documentation in the medical record to support prescribing should be standard practice, as outlined in the CDC Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship for nursing homes. Standardized UTI prescribing criteria should be incorporated into nursing home stewardship activities to improve the assessment and documentation of symptomatic UTI and to reduce inappropriate antibiotic use.
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