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Factors Other Than Workplace Tied to COVID-19 Positivity in Healthcare Workers

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Key Takeaways

  • Demographic and community risk factors are more strongly associated with COVID-19 positivity than workplace exposure among health care workers.
  • The odds of infection were increased with community contact with a person known or suspected to have COVID-19 and community COVID-19 incidence.
  • There was a higher risk for positivity observed among Black individuals.

HealthDay News–Demographic and community risk factors are more strongly associated with COVID-19 positivity than workplace exposure among health care workers (HCWs), according to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Julia M. Baker, Ph.D., from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues quantified demographic, occupational, and community risk factors for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) seropositivity among HCWs in a large health care system (April to June 2020).

The researchers found that adjusted SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity was estimated to be 3.8% (582 of the 10,275 participating HCWs tested positive). The odds of infection were increased with community contact with a person known or suspected to have COVID-19 (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4 to 2.6; 10.3% of positive persons) and community COVID-19 incidence (aOR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.0 to 2.2). There was a higher risk for positivity observed among Black individuals (aOR, 2.1; 95 percent CI, 1.7 to 2.6; 8.3% of positive persons).

“Demographic and community risk factors, including contact with a COVID-19-positive person and Black race, are more strongly associated with SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity among HCWs than is exposure in the workplace,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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