Increase in Hospital-acquired Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Infection and Colonization in an Acute Care Hospital During a Surge in COVID-19 Admissions

New Jersey, February-July 2020

Stephen Perez, PhD; Gabriel K. Innes, VMD, PhD; Maroya Spalding Walters, PhD; Jason Mehr, MPH; Jessica Arias; Rebecca Greeley, MPH; Debra Chew, MD


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2020;69(48):1827-1831. 

In This Article

Public Health Response

In collaboration with hospital A, NJDOH investigated the cluster, including review of laboratory data, patient information, IPC policies, and audit tools. NJDOH provided technical guidance on IPC interventions and advised returning to normal operations as soon as capacity allowed. IPC processes and interventions developed in collaboration with NJDOH (adapted from CDC guidelines††) during a previous CRAB outbreak at hospital A helped establish metrics for baseline incident case counts and adherence to IPC-related measures.

In June, NJDOH used New Jersey's public health notification system§§ to alert public health officials, health care providers, and infection preventionists to the possible resurgence of MDROs in health care facilities facing COVID-19–related resource limitations. In June 2020, hospital A reported fewer incident hospital-associated CRAB cases, coinciding with a sharp decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations (Figure). This trend continued through July. In August, no incident hospital-associated CRAB cases were reported, signaling a return to baseline numbers for the facility.