L’objectif de cett étude est d’établir si la mise en quarantaine du personnel hors d’un établissement de soins de santé pendant une pandémie est justifiée.
Abstract Background The first COVID-19-positive patient was identified in Ireland on 29 February 2020 (Department of Health, Government of Ireland; https://www.gov.ie/en/pressrelease/2f75fd-statement-from-the-national-public-healthemergency-team-sat-29-feb/). Healthcare worker (HCW) quarantining became a core intervention for those identified as ‘close contacts’ to reduce onward transmission within the workplace to patients and colleagues. Whether a quarantining strategy could be justified at a time when there was an increased demand for the services of HCWs remained unknown. Aims To establish whether quarantining staff away from a healthcare setting during a pandemic is justified. Methods This retrospective study examined close contacts of COVID-19-positive index cases (both residents and HCWs) in a community hospital over a 4-week period from 1 to 28 April 2020. Close contacts were identified in accordance with national guidelines. Zones of the hospital were examined to determine the number of COVID-positive index cases and their close contacts. A cumulative result for the hospital was recorded. Results While outcomes varied over time, per zone and per HCW category, the overall conversion rate from close contact to an index case was 30%. Conclusions This study vindicates the policy of quarantining close contact HCWs from their workplaces as they pose a significant threat to both their patients and fellow workers.