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ssrn; 2020.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-SSRN | ID: ppzbmed-10.2139.ssrn.3724855


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection than the general population but risk factors for HCW infection are not well described.Methods: We conducted a prospective sero-epidemiological study of HCWs at a UK teaching hospital using a SARS-CoV-2 immunoassay. Risk factors for seropositivity were analysed using multivariate logistic regression.Findings: 410/5,698 (7·2%) staff tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Seroprevalence was higher in those working in designated COVID-19 areas compared with other areas (9·47% versus 6·16%) Healthcare assistants (aOR 2·06 [95%CI 1·14-3·71]; p =0·016) and domestic and portering staff (aOR 3·45 [95% CI 1·07-11·42]; p =0·039) had significantly higher seroprevalence than other staff groups after adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity and COVID-19 working location. Staff working in acute medicine and medical sub-specialities were also at higher risk (aOR 2·07 [95% CI 1·31-3·25]; p <0·002). Staff from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds had an aOR of 1·65 (95% CI 1·32 – 2·07; p <0·001) compared to white staff; this increased risk was independent of COVID-19 area working. The only symptoms significantly associated with seropositivity in a multivariable model were loss of sense of taste or smell, fever and myalgia; 31% of staff testing positive reported no prior symptoms.Interpretation: Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection amongst HCWs is heterogeneous and influenced by COVID-19 working location, role, age and ethnicity. Increased risk amongst BAME staff cannot be accounted for solely by occupational factors.Funding: Wellcome Trust, Addenbrookes Charitable Trust, National Institute for Health Research, Academy of Medical Sciences, the Health Foundation and the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre.Declaration of Interests: None to declare.Ethics Approval Statement: Ethical approval for this study was granted by the East of England – Cambridge Central Research Ethics Committee (IRAS ID: 220277).

Musculoskeletal Pain , Fever , COVID-19