If you or someone you know may be considering suicide or need help, call 988 or message the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
Yes! Just this past month, the CDC announced it is “exploring the possibility and benefit of monitoring for other health threats detectable in wastewater, including antimicrobial-resistant pathogens, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, norovirus, and influenza.” This is already being done for polio in New York state. Early detection and infection control measures are critical to prevent extensive transmission, especially for a virus like noro which spreads so easily. If we know that an area is seeing increased norovirus activity from the wastewater, it’s an opportunity to take action - like increasing sanitizing measures or implementing daily wellness checks. Last week’s report that more than 40% of outbreaks are tied to restaurant employees working sick highlights how important those actions can be in preventing outbreaks.
Yes, we have several clients who have had multiple confirmed positive cases in a single location over the last two weeks. This follows NYC seeing an uptick of the virus in wastewater. While hospital admissions are still low, there’s very little tracking of overall cases happening at this point, so we have to rely on more anecdotal information and data from our sick calls and wellness checks. Our own clinical team has seen about a 15% increase in confirmed positive COVID cases in the past week compared to the average for the previous three weeks.
While most routine COVID testing has stopped, testing before a large gathering continues to make good sense. In April, more than 10% of attendees at a CDC conference became infected - and they were public health experts studying infectious diseases! Although outbreaks associated with corporate conferences have been less newsworthy, we’re hearing about them at ZHH regularly. The larger impact tends to be on business operations - when an entire team goes down with COVID for a week, it can be incredibly disruptive to business. We recommend having employees test the day before the event. In the case of employees reporting symptoms or positive tests during or just after the event, additional testing should be made available before attendees return to their usual workplace or office.