Planning for the 2020 CTCA Conference began in Fall 2019. Volunteer Planning Committee members created a full-day agenda with including new information to share with the TB public health workforce in May 2020. As conference planning progressed and then wrapped, TB program leaders were preparing for the potential impact of COVID-19. With a nationwide stay-at-home order and social distancing guidelines put in place, the conference went from postponed to the Fall in Palm Springs to an abbreviated and completely virtual event.
Two of the three plenary sessions were presented to more than 150 TB Control staff over two hours on November 12th via Zoom. Dr. Jennifer Flood, Chief of the California Department of Public Health TB Control Branch presented the 2019 California TB data, highlighting epidemiologic changes and recommending areas of focus to address the disparate impact of TB in the year ahead. And Dr. Jacek Skarbinski of Kaiser Permanente, Northern California, presented his Kaiser TB care cascade study and plan to increase IGRA testing and treatment of latent TB infection (LTBI) to prevent TB disease in their patient subpopulations at risk for developing TB disease.
We are grateful for our two presenters who gave our community the opportunity to focus on TB and the strides being made toward TB elimination in California, all during the extended COVID-19 response.
Less than a week later, more than 100 attendees gathered for the Fall 2020 TB Controllers Meeting, which was also held for two hours on Zoom. The meeting focused on COVID-19 innovations in public health and how to leverage these advancements for TB elimination efforts after the COVID-19 emergency response concludes.
Report on Tuberculosis in California, 2019