December 9, 2021

COVID-19 screening tool helps identify HCWs who should be tested

Editor's Note

This study led by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, investigates the effectiveness of a daily attestation system for healthcare workers (HCWs) to help identify COVID-19 cases and prevent spread.

The attestation system, “COVID Pass,” comprises symptom-screening, self-referrals to occupational health services, and/or COVID-19 testing.

Researchers analyzed more than 2 million attestations from more than 65,000 employees within the Mass General Brigham system between March 23, 2020, and June 30, 2020.

HCWs were screened daily before being permitted onsite, and those who attested to at least one symptom were referred to occupational health services for further evaluation, including testing if indicated, before being cleared for work.

Of the 2 million attestations, 99.9% reported no symptoms, and 2,062 attested to at least one symptom, the most common being sore throat. Of those, 905 were tested, and 114 (13%) tested positive for COVID-19. The most common symptoms linked to a positive test were anosmia and fever.

The researchers concluded that although the number of positive tests was low, attestations may help keep unwell HCWs off campus to prevent transmissions.

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