Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health



First Committee Member

Dr. Sharon Medcalf

Second Committee Member

Dr. Kolm-Valdivia

Third Committee Member

Dr. Mark Rupp


Background: Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) are preventable; however, they continue to occur. Many HAI’s can be prevented by adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthcare Infection Control Guidelines. In late 2019 a novel virus, known as SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19, emerged and spread across the globe. CDC recommended additional infection prevention and control practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to standard practices. This study will compare HAI rates before and during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as between COVID and non-COVID units.

Methods: HAI data collected pre-COVID-19 and during COVID-19 will be compared to determine if there are any differences in rates of Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI), Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI), and Ventilator Associated Events (VAE). Data collected during COVID-19 will also be used to compare the HAI rates between patients in COVID-19 units and non-COVID-19 units.

Results: VAE’s per 1,000 ventilator days were slightly greater in the pre-pandemic period than during the COVID-19 pandemic (17.83 vs 17.04, p= 0.01). VAE’s were more likely to occur in the COVID-19 units than in the non-COVID units (18.28 vs 16.50 per 1,000 ventilator days, p=0.03). CLABSI and CAUTI rates did not have a significant difference (p>0.05).

Conclusion: The impact of COVID-19 on HAI prevention and control efforts is far-reaching. There is an increase in critically ill hospitalized patients with long hospital stays and potential diversion of traditional infection prevention and control resources. However, there is also increased awareness of, and enhanced, prevention and control measures. Future work should monitor trends associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and hospital acquired infection rates.