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Exposure of hospital healthcare workers to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Salman Razvi



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Royal College of Physicians, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at higher risk of infection with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and can also amplify outbreaks within healthcare facilities if they become ill. Certain groups are known to be at higher risk of contracting severe COVID-19 infection, such as men and people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. Identifying and managing HCWs who have been exposed to COVID-19 is of utmost importance in preventing healthcare transmission and protecting staff and vulnerable patients in healthcare settings. Recently, antibody testing to diagnose previous COVID-19 exposure among HCW has commenced in the UK. This provided an opportunity to assess exposure to COVID-19 among the various subgroups within the HCW community, based on their roles and ethnic background. We found that HCWs working in patient-facing roles were twice as likely to have been exposed to COVID-19 than their colleagues in non-patient-facing roles. Reassuringly, workers from BAME backgrounds had a similar risk of previous COVID-19 exposure to their white colleagues. More research is required to assess how frontline staff, especially those working in patient facing roles, can reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Razvi S, Oliver R, Moore J, Beeby A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Medicine

Year: 2020

Volume: 20

Issue: 6

Pages: e238-e240

Print publication date: 16/11/2020

Online publication date: 30/09/2020

Acceptance date: 04/08/2020

Date deposited: 02/12/2020

ISSN (print): 1470-2118

ISSN (electronic): 1473-4893

Publisher: Royal College of Physicians


DOI: 10.7861/clinmed.2020-0566

PubMed id: 32962975


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