Work at inpatient care units is associated with an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection; a cross-sectional study of 8679 healthcare workers in Sweden
Background: During the Covid-19 pandemic, the protection of healthcare workers has been in focus throughout the world, but the availability and quality of personal protective equipment has at times and in some settings been suboptimal.
Materials and methods: A total of 8679 healthcare workers and healthcare support staff in the county of Uppsala, north of Stockholm, were included in this cross-sectional study. All subjects were analysed for IgG anti-SARS-CoV-2, and predictors for positive serostatus were analysed in a logistic regression model including demographic parameters and self-reported employment characteristics.
Results: Overall, 577 (6.6%) were classified as seropositive, with no statistically significant differences between healthcare workers and support staff. Among healthcare workers, age (OR 0.987 per year, 95% CI 0.980–0.995), time to sampling (OR 1.019 per day, 95% CI 1.004–1.035), and employment at an outpatient care unit (OR 0.620, 95% CI 0.487–0.788) were statistically significantly associated with risk of infection. Covid-19 specific units were not at particular risk, compared to other units with comparable characteristics and staff demography.
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that SARS-CoV-2 transmission is related to inpatient healthcare work, and illustrate the need for a high standard of basic hygiene routines in all inpatient care settings.
Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to Upsala Mecical Society. Read the full Copyright- and Licensing Statement.