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Implementation of novel and conventional outbreak control measures in managing COVID-19 outbreaks in a large UK prison

Coleman, P. ORCID: 0000-0002-8681-9070, Pailing, A., Roy, A. , O’Moore, É., Chandan, J. S., Lumby, V., Newton, P., Taylor, A., Robinson, E., Swindells, J., Dowle, S. & Gajraj, R. (2022). Implementation of novel and conventional outbreak control measures in managing COVID-19 outbreaks in a large UK prison. BMC Public Health, 22(1), 677. doi: 10.1186/s12889-022-12991-7

Abstract

Background
Outbreak control measures during COVID-19 outbreaks in a large UK prison consisted of standard (e.g., self-isolation) and novel measures, including establishment of: (i) reverse cohorting units for accommodating new prison admissions; (ii) protective isolation unit for isolating symptomatic prisoners, and (iii) a shielding unit to protect medically vulnerable prisoners.

Methods
Single-centre prospective longitudinal study (outbreak control study), implementing novel and traditional outbreak control measures to prevent a SARS-COV-2 outbreak. The prison held 977 prisoners and employed 910 staff at that start of the outbreak.

Results
120 probable and 25 confirmed cases among prisoners and staff were recorded between March and June 2020 during the first outbreak. Over 50% of initial cases among prisoners were on the two wings associated with the index case.

During the second outbreak, 182 confirmed cases were recorded after probable reintroduction from a staff member. Widespread testing identified 145 asymptomatic prisoners, 16.9% of the total prisoner cases. The cohorting units prevented re-infection from new prison admissions and the shielding unit had no COVID-19 infections linked to either outbreak.

Conclusions
Identifying and isolating infected prisoners, cohorting new admissions and shielding vulnerable individuals helped prevent uncontrollable spread of SARS-COV-2. These novel and cost-effective approaches can be implemented in correctional facilities globally.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
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