COVID-19 in Health Care Personnel: Significance of Health Care Role, Contact History, and Symptoms in Those Who Test Positive for SARS-CoV-2 Infection

The goal of this study from HIP Investigators Dr. Christie Bartels and Dr. Meghan Brennan was to identify significant factors that help predict whether health care personnel (HCP) will test positive for severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). They conducted a prospective cohort study among 7015 symptomatic HCP from March 25, 2020, through November 11, 2020 and analyzed the associations between health care role, contact history, symptoms, and a positive nasopharyngeal swab SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction test result.

They found that Symptomatic HCP have higher adjusted odds of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 based on three distinct factors: (1) nonphysician/advanced practice provider role, (2) contact with a family or community member with suspected or known COVID-19, and (3) specific symptoms and symptom number. Differences among health care roles, which persisted after controlling for contacts, may reflect the influence of social determinants. Contacts with COVID-19-positive patients and/or HCP were not associated with higher odds of testing positive, supporting current infection control efforts. Targeted symptom and contact questionnaires may streamline symptomatic HCP testing for COVID-19.

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