C&C: COVID-19 Variants and its Impact on Testing and Prevention Measures

March 19, 2021

Grab your favorite morning beverage, turn on your camera and come have an open, candid hour-long conversation about how COVID-19 is impacting you, your work, and anything and everything in between. This Converse and Convene: COVID-19 will focus on questions related to COVID-19 Variants and its Impact on Testing and Prevention Measures. You will discuss the following questions around the topic:

  1. Variants of Concern (VOC) are circulating across the US. Few states have stopped mask mandates. Daily vaccination numbers are looking promising however we are not close to herd immunity yet. Taking all of this into consideration and ongoing pandemic fatigue, as infection prevention experts, what strategies are you implementing to promote continuation of masking, hand hygiene and social distancing measures (use of social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, news interviews)? How are you influencing and encouraging hesitant patient and healthcare worker populations to take COVID-19 vaccine?
  1. Variants of Concern (VOC) are known to be more transmissible with increased risk for severity of disease and potentially death. There is a concern for another surge in COVID-19 cases in US post spring break due to circulating variants and ongoing large group gatherings. If we do experience another surge due to VOC, as an infection prevention expert, would you recommend any changes in current infection prevention measures like promoting double masking, or N95 mask use among healthcare workers at all times in healthcare facilities?
  1. COVID vaccines are safe and efficacious. We have some data showing efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines against VOC. 
    1. In order to provide best protection to our healthcare workers, should COVID-19 vaccination be a requirement for all healthcare workers? 
    2. In order to protect our patient population, should COVID-19 vaccination (eg. J&J single dose vaccine) be offered to patients at time of discharge from hospitals?
  1. SARS CoV-2 variants can result in S gene drop out and diagnostic testing failures in certain assays. How has the arrival of VOC affected diagnostic testing at your healthcare facility? Did your facility implement any changes in diagnostic testing platforms? Is your facility participating in whole genome sequencing to help identify SARS CoV-2 variants?

Please note this event is not recorded and is intended for members to have an open, candid discussion around the selected topic.

We highly recommend listening to our recent podcasts on variants in the Rapid Response Program, COVID-19 Updates:
1) Episode 49: Mutations & Variants of SARS-CoV-2 (launched 2/4/21)
2) Episode 53: UK Perspective on Variants (launched 3/4/21)
3) Episode 54: South Africa Perspective on COVID & Variants (launched 3/11/21)

Bhagyashri Navalkele, MD, FACP
University of Mississippi Medical Center

This event is open to SHEA members only at this time. 

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 Participation
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
03/19/2021 - 11:00am EDT
Event ends: 
03/19/2021 - 12:00pm EDT


  • Welcome
  • House Keeping Review
  • Moderator Overview of Topic
  • Break Out Discussions
  • Recap and Farewell


Bhagyashri Navalkele, MD, FACP
University of Mississippi Medical Center

Available Credit

  • 1.00 Participation


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Converse and Convene will be utilizing Zoom meetings. You will be able to join our event by clicking on the Zoom link provided in the course. If this is your first Zoom meeting on your device, visit https://zoom.us/download.

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