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Investigation of superspreading COVID-19 outbreaks events in meat and poultry processing plants in Germany: A cross-sectional study
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-319204
ABSTRACT
Since May 2020, several COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred in the German meat industry despite various protective measures, and temperature and ventilation conditions were considered as possible high-risk factors. This cross-sectional study examined meat and poultry plants to examine possible risk factors. Companies completed a self-administered questionnaire on the work environment and protective measures taken to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Multivariable logistic regression analysis adjusted for the possibility to distance at least 1.5 meters, break rules, and employment status was performed to identify risk factors associated with COVID-19 cases. Twenty-two meat and poultry plants with 19,072 employees participated. The prevalence of COVID-19 in the seven plants with more than 10 cases was 12.1% and was highest in the deboning and meat cutting area with 16.1%. A subsample analysis where information on maximal ventilation rate per employee was available revealed an effect for ventilation rate (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.996, 95% CI 0.993-0.999). When including temperature as an interaction term in the working area, the effect of the ventilation rate did not change. Increasing room temperatures resulted in a lower chance of obtaining a positive COVID-19 test result (AOR 0.90 95% CI 0.82-0.99), and a 0.1% greater chance of a positive COVID-19 test for the interaction term (AOR 1.001, 95% CI 1.000-1.003). Our results further indicate that climate conditions and low outdoor air flow are factors that can promote the spread of SARS-CoV-2 aerosols. A possible requirement for pandemic mitigation strategies in industrial workplace settings is to increase the ventilation rate.
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Collection: Preprints Database: EuropePMC Type of study: Prevalence study / Prognostic study / Randomized controlled trials / Risk factors Language: English Year: 2020 Document Type: Preprint

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Collection: Preprints Database: EuropePMC Type of study: Prevalence study / Prognostic study / Randomized controlled trials / Risk factors Language: English Year: 2020 Document Type: Preprint