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The latest situation report indicates that nosocomial cases account for 0.4 percent of total COVID-19 cases, and 25 percent of all hospital diagnosed hospital COVID-19 cases. As much of the wider population has been vaccinated at this point in the pandemic, further analysis of vaccination data in the hospitalised population was requested. COVID-19 Nosocomial Review Group (CNRG) reinforced the importance of vaccine booster uptake in all eligible groups, inclusive of those hospitalised and Health Care Workers (HCWs), and its importance for Nosocomial Infection (NI) risk reduction.
CNRG were given an update to thewhole genome sequencing work. CNRG were made aware as of 25th October the sampling capacity has been increased to approx. 2,000 a day, and Scotland are currently able to sample all positive PCR samples from NHS and Lighthouse labs (should the percentage of daily positive tests remain at current levels).
CNRG were also informed that Public Health Scotland (PHS) are working with ARHAI, the Cluster ID Working Group and a subset of NHS Health Boards to develop reporting outputs prior to full rollout to all boards. CNRG noted the importance of WGS data for retrospectively understanding NI transmission and asked that further data are brought back for further consideration. It was also noted that WGS turnaround time, whilst improving, limits it use beyond this retrospective use in managing NI risk currently.
The UK IPC winter guidance has been agreed by the UK IPC cell. CNRG were made aware that HSE have confirmed that they are supportive of the UK IPC guidance for the winter. CNRG endorsed the Scottish guidance previously which is aligned with the UK guidance. ARHAI confirmed to members that for the Scottish guidance they are seeking further advice via the clinical cell and the Scottish Microbiology and Virology Network (SMVN) of a timescale for a negative test result before an Aerosol Generating Procedure (AGP) is carried out to enable the Scottish guidance to be specific on this matter.
The latest update on the Edinburgh University Behavioural Insights study was shared. CNRG were informed that the study is currently in phase two – data collection and analysis via formal survey data, semi-structured interviews, anonymised behavioural data. CNRG were also made aware that phase three will include development, implementation and testing of interventions using results from phase two. CNRG noted the importance of this work to inform future IPC guidance implementation for future preparedness and asked that the data were also used in real time locally to support improvement where needed.
CNRG endorsed the importance of asymptomatic testing, which will continue over the winter period. CNRG noted that to date 2.5 million LFD tests have been taken.