SARS-CoV-2 molecular diagnosis at airports to minimize travel-related spread of COVID-19

Our research results support a two-pronged approach to greatly reduce the passage of pathogens without the impracticality of a travel ban or population-wide screening. We propose: (1) identification of communities at risk, defined by, (a.) isolation from the environment, which is responsible for a huge budget for medical evacuation, (b.) work need, which allows for increased interactions and transmission possibilities both intra- and environment (on site) and the influx of labor (travellers), and (c.) health care constraints, due to economic and geographic feasibility, moving away from robust access to health care; and (2.) multifactorial preventions that include (a.) questionnaires investigating exposure potential and symptoms (a pre-screening trip to the AD 48 hours prior, and one in AD prior to social distancing, pending RT-PCR results), ( b.) basic prevention measures, such as wearing masks and washing hands, (c.) temperature checks (at the AD and other congestion areas, such as on-site cafeteria), (d.) RT-PCR screening by AD laboratories, and (e.) social distancing, isolation and quarantine protocol.

Separately, the different facets of prevention have individual effectiveness. For example, according to this study, the AD questionnaire alone would have prevented two out of 13 people (15.4%) from boarding the aircraft, as Case #11 and Case #13 showed symptoms or recent contacts with a confirmed case of COVID-19. 19 at the time of boarding. The pre-screening form, which travelers must complete 24 to 48 hours before boarding, would result in individuals with symptoms or contact with a confirmed case being referred to the public health system (and staying out of our Pap smears records). The AD questionnaire provides additional screening coverage between the prescreening form (one to two days in advance) and same day preboarding. An additional benefit of the AD questionnaire in view of pre-boarding swabs appears to be that individuals pay more attention to symptoms and potential exposure when completing this questionnaire, aware of upcoming lab testing (as voluntarily reported by individuals).

While the prescreening and AD questionnaires are excellent tools to reduce infectious spread, the example of case #12 illustrates the need for the RT-PCR screening, as the employee failed to disclose in the questionnaire that he had boarding had returned from an international trip for site A. Accurate information would have imposed a 14-day quarantine or isolation upon return to Canada, under then-federal regulations8† The lack of signs and symptoms, including elevated temperature, demonstrates the value of RT-PCR in reducing the travel of asymptomatic individuals that could trigger an outbreak. Still, one person, Case #7, passed all AD screening, including RT-PCR. This case may represent a small proportion of asymptomatic carriers in the prodromal period when the virus is below the detection level of laboratory tests, although a false negative cannot be excluded. Probably due to early detection at the mine site and subsequent isolation, along with other basic health protocols, Case #7 caused no detectable spread of SARS-CoV-2 by the health professionals and lab at Site A. Future studies to assess the effectiveness of transmission prevention should include the addition of serological investigations are considered where economically and functionally permissible.

Our study revealed a lower violation of screening by prodromal asymptomatic carriers (1 of 13) than the 44% projected by other models, translating to an expected 5 to 6 individuals.9† Still, several factors should be considered to soften comparisons: (1.) Our study is limited by the low number of reported cases (13) of 15,873 samples tested; (2.) Miners were in a culture of continuous screening and may have been stricter with health and safety measures; (3.) The prescreening questionnaire 24 to 48 hours prior to travel resulted in a waiting period for individuals recognizing exposure risk, including travel, exceeding the typical prodromal period of 2.4 days after AD screening9† and (4.) Our data is derived from a uniformity of the process rather than an amalgamation of disparate locations and processes. In addition, comparisons of data unrelated to a prodromal asymptomatic infringement are largely inaccurate, particularly for sites that test much larger groups of symptomatic individuals, such as hospitals and national reference centers.

While no secondary transmission was detected at either mining site in December 2021, Case #9 was associated with Case #10 due to its proximity to onboard seating. This potential route of exposure is now mitigated by the revised protocol where stepping takes place after RT-PCR data is returned. Overall, the current report supports the use of diagnostic labs at travel points to make an additional contribution to other control measures. Although the implementation costs of such measures were fully borne by the private mining company; the laboratory costs and scientific expertise of the screening process remained low because it was conducted by a non-profit organization. Still, companies and organizations assuming the costs of such combined screening measures must weigh those costs against the costs of the spread of a pandemic and the attendant medical response and industry shutdown, let alone the ethical implications of it. applying less security measures.

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