October 12, 2021

Survey: COVID-19 seropositivity among high-risk HCWs

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

This survey of high-risk healthcare workers (HCWs) at Sharp HealthCare in San Diego County finds a relatively small proportion who were seropositive for COVID-19.

Of 1,770 participants, 39 (2.2%) had a positive antibody test. Among 22 who reported a history of presumptive or confirmed COVID-19, 14 were antibody positive, and none had a positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.


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Of 1,748 participants without a history of COVID-19, 23 (1.3%) had a positive antibody test only, 2 (0.1%) had a positive PCR test only, and 2 (0.1%) had both a positive PCR and antibody test.

The 4 participants with positive PCR tests coincided with a cluster of cases among HCWs.

In multivariate analysis, known community exposure to COVID-19 and Hispanic/Latino HCWs were linked to seropositivity. Percentage of time working with COVID-19 patients, unintentional exposure without personal protective equipment (PPE), geographic location, job type, and unit were not associated with increased odds of antibody or PCR positivity.

The findings suggest that the appropriate use of PPE is effective in minimizing exposures at the bedside, the researchers say.

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