Outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 at a hospice: terminated after the implementation of enhanced aerosol infection control measures

Source avec lien : Interface Focus, 12(2). 10.1098/rsfs.2021.0066

Les épidémies de COVID-19 dans les hospices pour patients en soins palliatifs constituent une situation unique et difficile. Le personnel, les proches et les patients peuvent être des sources et des destinataires possibles de l’infection. Nous présentons une épidémie de COVID-19 dans un hospice, pendant la première vague de pandémie au Royaume-Uni.

Outbreaks of COVID-19 in hospices for palliative care patients pose a unique and difficult situation. Staff, relatives and patients may be possible sources and recipients of infection. We present an outbreak of COVID-19 in a hospice setting, during the UK’s first pandemic wave. During the outbreak period, 26 patients and 30 staff tested SARS-CoV-2 positive by laboratory-based RT-PCR testing. Most infected staff exhibited some mild, non-specific symptoms so affected staff members may not have voluntarily self-isolated or had themselves tested on this basis. Similarly, for infected patients, most became symptomatic and were then isolated. Additional, enhanced aerosol infection control measures were implemented, including opening of all windows where available; universal masking for all staff, including in non-clinical areas and taking breaks separately; screening for asymptomatic infection among staff and patients, with appropriate isolation (at home for staff) if infected; performing a ventilation survey of the hospice facility. After these measures were instigated, the numbers of COVID-19 cases decreased to zero over the following three weeks. This outbreak study demonstrated that an accurate understanding of the routes of infection for a new pathogen, as well as the nature of symptomatic versus asymptomatic infection and transmission, is crucial for controlling its spread.

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