An Examination of COVID-19 among Healthcare Workers in a Highly Affected Region of the Bronx, New York City

Obayemi Adetokunbo, Roure Rita, Taylor Brittany, Altonen Brian, Fisher Akinola, Banuchi Victoria E
2020 Journal of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology  
Health care workers (HCWs) have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but this specific population's infection risk remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of COVID-19 infection and associated predictors among select hospital staff in the Bronx, New York City. Methods: 919 SARS-CoV2 RT-PCR results were retrospectively reviewed from 890 HCWs seeking testing between March 18 th and April 24 th , 2020. Demographic data, job title, clinical
more » ... title, clinical history, PCR results, and morbidity were analyzed. Findings: Of all patients tested, 26.7% (237) tested positive for SARS-CoV2. 17.7% of positive patients demonstrated a temperature of at least 37.5 °C, compared to 6.0% of negative patients (p < 0.00001). 12.2% (29) of patients were clinically asymptomatic. Cough, malaise, fatigue, headache and anosmia were significantly more prevalent in the SARS-CoV2 positive group. Only one patient required intubation, and there were no fatalities recorded. No significant difference was seen in positive rates between clinical, conditionally clinical, and non-clinical HCWs. Interpretation: We identified an infection rate among HCWs during the height of the COVID-19 consistent with local epidemiological data from the surrounding region. Overall, HCWs who tested positive displayed vital signs congruent with viral illness. The data also suggest that all HCWs, including those with non-clinical roles, had an equivalent risk of COVID-19 infection during the height of the pandemic. As the surge has now affected other cities, this awareness may help shape future policies for protection of exposed health care personnel.
doi:10.23937/2474-3658/1510167 fatcat:rkh2uh2xwrh43ordrhmznx4uly