Katelyn Hall, Speaker at Infection Conferences
CTEH, United States
Title : Public health in action: Framework for Industries to Navigate a Pandemic

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Since its inception, CTEH has been on the front lines of emerging public health emergencies. With the COVID?19 pandemic, we joined our clients on the front lines of protecting workers' health while  maintaining business continuity, particularly for critical services. This presentation will highlight CTEH's work with clients in the oil and gas, maritime, food processing and production, paper packaging, hospitality, entertainment, and live events industries.
METHODS: To combat COVID?19 spread among our clients' workers and communities, CTEH assembled a 
COVID?19 team of interdisciplinary experts in epidemiology, industrial hygiene, medicine, nursing, toxicology, environmental sciences, and logistics. We approached the COVID?19 pandemic by assessing
each client's individual risk and developing a plan for them that included tracking, preventing, detecting,
and containing SARS?CoV?2. Our process was guided by results and the most recent scientific knowledge.
Our team kept an eye on COVID?19 threat levels and took data?driven actions to scale an infection control plan. To update our infection control plans daily, we reviewed peer?reviewed literature, white papers, gray literature, federal, state, and local guidance, and international media. We applied our prior experience in logistics from our emergency response work to the COVID?19 symptom screening, testing, and immunity tracking. We developed 24/7 COVID?19 contact tracing services tailored to the clients’ workforce and their day?to?day interactions. We deployed experts into the field to assist our clients in implementing these plans.
RESULTS: We discovered that many variations of our infection control plans produced similar results in terms of employee health and business continuity. We also discovered that very few of the 100,000+ workers in our infection control plans had serious COVID?19 infections, implying that healthy workers are less likely to be impacted by severe COVID?19 infections. There was better reporting of COVID?19 symptoms and exposures observed when clients compensated their employees who were out of work due to COVID?19. Building trust in your workforce and gaining their buy?in on your COVID?19 plan, reporting COVID?19 symptoms, follow?up testing of workers reporting COVID?19 symptoms, immunity tracking, and tailored quarantines based on immunity status, and scalable plans that escalate as COVID?19 levels rise were all best practices for a strong COVID?19 plan.
CONCLUSTION: We discovered that there are cost?effective strategies for infection control and worker safety that can be applied across many industries. The cost and logistics of implementing infection control plans and operating during the COVID?19 pandemic should not be an impediment.

Biography:

Dr. Katelyn Hall has her Master of Public Health and her Doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Colorado Denver. She served as an epidemiologist and statistician at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for seven years. She was integral in setting up the public health regulatory infrastructure for the recreational cannabis industry and establishing best practices monitoring of public health impacts from legalization. Currently she works as an epidemiology consultant for the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health. She is an active member of the Cannabis Subcommittee at the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists and works to standardize public health monitoring for states legalizing cannabis use. She also provides epidemiology consulting in COVIDÔÇÉ19, toxic tort cases, and emerging public health issues.

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