Support staff may face higher COVID-19 risk than clinicians, study finds

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Scientist evaluated more than 3,900 staff members at New Brunswick, N.J.-based Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital for COVID-19 and antibodies in between April 28 and June 30. Thirteen workers checked favorable for the infection and 374 had infection antibodies. © Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020.

Black and Latinx healthcare workers and support staff were also two times as likely to check positive for COVID-19 or virus antibodies than white employees, regardless of whether they had direct patient contact.

Scientist evaluated more than 3,900 staff members at New Brunswick, N.J.-based Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital for COVID-19 and antibodies in between April 28 and June 30. Thirteen staff members tested positive for the infection and 374 had infection antibodies. Results were assessed in relation to occupational and demographic attributes..

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The prospective absence of access to personal protective equipment for medical facility support personnel or lax security protocols at the start of the pandemic might be accountable for the findings, underscoring the value of stiff security protocols to protect all employees within healthcare settings, researchers stated.

Phlebotomists accounted for almost 24 percent of positive COVID-19 or antibody tests, followed by maintenance/housekeeping staff (17.3 percent), dining/food services staff members (16.9 percent) and interpersonal/support personnel (13.7 percent). Physicians and nurses had lower positivity rates at 7.2 percent and 9.1 percent, respectively..

Support staff at a New Jersey healthcare facility were more most likely to test positive for COVID-19 or infection antibodies compared to nurses and doctors, according to a study released in Open Forum Infectious Diseases..

” The threat to workers in health care settings with little or no patient contact has actually attracted relatively little attention to date, but our results recommend potentially high infection rates in this group,” Emily Barret, PhD, study author and an associate teacher at Rutgers School of Public Health in Piscataway, N.J., said in a press release..

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Erica Carbajal –
Wednesday, November 4th, 2020
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