Assessment of regional response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Cumulative number and factors of COVID-19 responses and recovery activities over time identified by partners as enabling implementation in Douglas County, Kansas. Credits: Holt, et al

A new paper by researchers at the Community Health Development Center, an academic health department within the University of Kansas Lifespan Institute, details the monitoring and assessment of COVID-19 responses in the Douglas County Public Health System.

Findings have just been reported to peer-reviewed journals Health promotion practice..

Due to the pandemic, little was understood about the nature of the community’s public health response and why it was made possible. KU CCHD has partnered with Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health and Unified Command to better understand the COVID-19 response in the region.

“My colleagues and I have adapted the center’s monitoring and assessment system to document and analyze the deployment of public health measures implemented in Lawrence and Douglas counties,” said a CCHD investigator and The lead author, Christina Holt, director of training and technical assistance, said. “Funded by the Kansas Health Foundation, we documented and characterized nearly 1,000 community response activities and the curve-bending contributions of new cases of COVID-19 in the community. Factors related to case patterns. By exchanging ideas with local partners about, we gained a better understanding of our local efforts. “

Key regional partners in COVID-19 response efforts include Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health, LMH Health, Douglas County Emergency Management, Heartland Clinic, KU Emergency Management, Douglas County COVID-19 Unified Command, and local school districts. Includes the City of Lawrence. , Lawrence Community Shelter, Family Promise and local nonprofits. Representatives from these groups gathered in a session facilitated by KU researchers to discuss factors related to new cases and increased or decreased patterns of response activity.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread in 2020, most communities had excellent surveillance systems to track new cases of COVID-19,” said CCHD Senior Advisor and Professor Emeritus of the Kansas Health Foundation. Stephen Faucet says. KU Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences. “But little information was available about the response, that is, the programs, policies, and practices implemented by the regional healthcare system to respond to changes in the pandemic. Well-documented regional COVID-19 response. If you can create a diagram, your partner will have more information to make adjustments. That’s it. Case Study I tried to do it “

According to stakeholders themselves, the most important findings of scholarships involving the Center’s community addressed which COVID-19 response activities and events were associated with the increase or decrease in new cases in Douglas County.

The authors found several important factors associated with delaying the increase in cases from the first global outbreak. The decision of the local school and university to hold classes online after spring break. Closure of recreation center and library. Stay-at-home order for the entire state. Prohibition of large-scale meetings.

When a case of COVID-19 was identified in Douglas County, the author cited three key factors to control the outbreak. State and local outing bans. And changes in business practices.

However, researchers determined that subsequent state-wide deregulations, bar outbreaks, and complete resumption of operations were associated with an increase in cases. Factors that “curved” following the rise included masking obligations and bar closures throughout Douglas County and the state. In the second half of the pandemic, there was a second rise locally in which researchers returned KU students to town, linking them to housing complexes for students, faculty and staff and KU group exams.

According to the survey, this second rise is a crackdown on KUs against fraternity groups that are not in compliance with COVID safety, a ban on the sale of alcohol outside business hours, bar / restaurant inspections, and violations of COVID-19 regulations. It turned out that it was reduced by the lawrence city committee ordinance to issue tickets. KUs that cut their tests to a more targeted approach in late August may also have reduced the number of cases detected.

According to the survey, “Ongoing factors include the opening of some kindergarten-to-high school schools with various compliances with public health guidance (for example, permission for autumn / winter sports). Keeping a social distance in a collective living environment. “

Ultimately, KU researchers work with local partners. Public health systemWe aimed to better understand the public health response to pandemics and use this information to make adjustments.

“Our Unified Command Partners, Lawrence City, Douglas County, University of Kansas, LMH Health, US $ 497, Chamber of Commerce, actively participated in a session facilitated by the Community Health Development Center.” And co-author of the study, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health. ‚ÄúThese sessions helped us all pause and broaden our horizons. Doing so sharpens our collective sense of what works and continues to improve. The ability has improved. “

In addition to Holt, Fawcett, and Partridge, the co-authors of this study were Ruaa Hassaballa-Muhammad and Sonia Jordan of Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health.

The KU team said it was particularly impressed with the efforts of local public health partners, including the Unified Command Fairness Impact Advisor, to minimize the potential harm to public health measures for the most vulnerable. rice field.

“Locally, people were very sincere in trying to have a fair lens when dealing with a pandemic,” Holt said. “They worked to reduce some of the large disparities in results seen between different groups. Our locals health The community is very proud that the resulting inequality here in Douglas County is much less than in many places. ”

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For more information:
Christina M. Holt et al, Participatory Monitoring and Assessment of COVID-19 Responses in the Community Public Health System, Health promotion practice (2021). DOI: 10.1177 / 15248399211041085

Quote: Https: // Local response to COVID-19 pandemic (October 22, 2021) obtained on October 22, 2021 Evaluation of

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Assessment of regional response to the COVID-19 pandemic

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