What We’re Reading: New Sepsis Guidelines; Mask Mandates Return; Tech-Supported Public Health Program


CDC outlines new procedures for sepsis response; mask mandates resurface during COVID-19 increase; a recent study shows that technology can help support public health programs.

CDC Sets New Sepsis Hospital Standards

The CDC on Thursday announced new guidelines to assist hospitals in the detection and treatment of cases of sepsis faster, according to The New York Times. The procedures, consisting of a 35-page document outlining the “core elements” of a hospital sepsis program, is designed to help administrators gather experts from various medical backgrounds to identify and treat sepsis faster. Raymond Dantes, MD, a CDC medical advisor and one of the specialists who designed the new strategies said they were planned to “complement clinical guidelines.” Sepsis is a factor in 1.7 million hospitalizations in the country each year.

Mask Mandates Resurface

The latest uptick in COVID-19 cases in some areas has incited a handful of organizations around the country to reinstate mask mandates, reviving the debate over where masking mandates fit into an era of living with COVID-19, reported The Hill. Lionsgate movie studio requested that its employees wear masks on certain floors after a few staff members tested positive for COVID-19, and Kaiser Permanente started to require staff, patients, and visitors wear masks at its Santa Rosa, California, facility. Hospitalizations because of COVID-19 have been increasing in the past few weeks, but CDC data shows that hospital admission rates are still determined to be low in 97% of the United States.

Technology Supports Public Health Programs

A program called the SCALE-UP Counts program was created to promote COVID-19 testing through collaboration with local schools, particularly those that serve historically marginalized populations, according to a press release from the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute. This was carried out through 2-way texting, meaning that staff, parents, or guardians could respond. SCALE-Up Counts aimed to make it easier for schools to have access to COVID-19 testing and gave direction to families and staff on when to test. Four months after the program’s initiation, 19% of the K-12 school staff engaged with the SCALE-UP Counts system in some way. These results illustrate that the program helped schools and families traverse the pandemic and can also help researchers understand how to grow participation in future initiatives like cancer prevention, screening, and education in the future.

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