Healthcare Professionals 3x More Likely to Test Positive for COVID-19
A 42-year-old woman was discovered in her home, dead for at least 12 hours, alone except for her four-year-old daughter. She was a mammogram technician at a hospital and likely another victim of COVID-19.
COVID-19 Casualties in Healthcare
According to the CDC, by the end of July, nearly 120,000 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals had become ill with COVID-19, with at least 587 fatalities.
The surge in demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) has led to global shortages of masks, face shields, gowns, and respirators, forcing healthcare organizations to conserve PPE through extended use or reuse.
What the Research Shows
A study recently published by The Lancet found that the risk of reporting a positive test for COVID-19 was increased among front-line healthcare workers in the USA.
The study found that the prevalence of COVID-19 was 2,747 cases per 100,000 front-line healthcare workers, compared with 242 cases per 100,000 people in the general population. Healthcare workers were three times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 and contract the virus.
Researchers concluded that because infection risk was increased even with adequate PPE, it is imperative for healthcare organizations to ensure proper use of PPE and adherence to other infection control measures.
The California legislature is considering bills that will make it easier for certain workers to prove they contracted COVID-19 at the workplace. The new laws will speed up the delivery of benefits to injured workers, particularly those who are clearly at great risk, like healthcare workers.