Interrupting COVID-19 transmission by implementing enhanced traffic control bundling: Implications for global prevention and control efforts.
We argue that enhanced Traffic Control Bundling (eTCB) can interrupt the community-hospital-community transmission cycle, thereby limiting COVID-19’s impact. Enhanced TCB is an expansion of the traditional TCB that proved highly effective during Taiwan’s 2003 SARS outbreak. TCB’s success derived from ensuring that Health Care Workers (HCWs) and patients were protected from fomite, contact and droplet transmission within hospitals. Although TCB proved successful during SARS, achieving a similar level of success with the COVID-19 outbreak requires adapting TCB to the unique manifestations of this new disease. These manifestations include asymptomatic infection, a hyper-affinity to ACE2 receptors resulting in high transmissibility, false negatives, and an incubation period of up to 22 days. Enhanced TCB incorporates the necessary adaptations. In particular, eTCB includes expanding the TCB transition zone to incorporate a new sector – the quarantine ward. This ward houses patients exhibiting atypical manifestations or awaiting definitive diagnosis. A second adaptation involves enhancing the checkpoint hand disinfection and gowning up with Personal Protective Equipment deployed in traditional TCB. Under eTCB, checkpoint hand disinfection and donning of face masks are now required of all visitors who seek to enter hospitals. These enhancements ensure that transmissions by droplets, fomites and contact are disrupted both within hospitals and between hospitals and the broader community. Evidencing eTCB effectiveness is Taiwan’s success to date in containing and controlling the community-hospital-community transmission cycle.