A severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nosocomial cluster with inter-facility spread: Lessons learned Journal Articles uri icon

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  • AbstractBackground:Despite infection control guidance, sporadic nosocomial coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreaks occur. We describe a complex severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) cluster with interfacility spread during the SARS-CoV-2 δ (delta) pandemic surge in the Midwest.Setting:This study was conducted in (1) a hematology-oncology ward in a regional academic medical center and (2) a geographically distant acute rehabilitation hospital.Methods:We conducted contact tracing for each COVID-19 case to identify healthcare exposures within 14 days prior to diagnosis. Liberal testing was performed for asymptomatic carriage for patients and staff. Whole-genome sequencing was conducted for all available clinical isolates from patients and healthcare workers (HCWs) to identify transmission clusters.Results:In the immunosuppressed ward, 19 cases (4 patients, 15 HCWs) shared a genetically related SARS-CoV-2 isolate. Of these 4 patients, 3 died in the hospital or within 1 week of discharge. The suspected index case was a patient with new dyspnea, diagnosed during preprocedure screening. In the rehabilitation hospital, 20 cases (5 patients and 15 HCWs) positive for COVID-19, of whom 2 patients and 3 HCWs had an isolate genetically related to the above cluster. The suspected index case was a patient from the immune suppressed ward whose positive status was not detected at admission to the rehabilitation facility. Our response to this cluster included the following interventions in both settings: restricting visitors, restricting learners, restricting overflow admissions, enforcing strict compliance with escalated PPE, access to on-site free and frequent testing for staff, and testing all patients prior to hospital discharge and transfer to other facilities.Conclusions:Stringent infection control measures can prevent nosocomial COVID-19 transmission in healthcare facilities with high-risk patients during pandemic surges. These interventions were successful in ending these outbreaks.


  • Pop-Vicas, Aurora E
  • Anderson, Laura
  • Hatas, Gabrielle
  • Stevens, Linda
  • Buys, Ashley
  • O’Connor, David
  • Wilson, Nancy
  • Riemersma, Kasen
  • Haddock Soto, Luis A
  • Richardson, Abby
  • Clemens, Christine
  • Packham, Jennylynde
  • Shirley, Daniel
  • Safdar, Nasia

publication date

  • May 2024