Frontline staff three times as likely to get Covid-19 despite PPE

18 September 2020

Frontline healthcare workers with adequate PPE have a threefold increased risk of a positive Covid-19 test compared with the general population, a study in The Lancet Public Health has found.

Those with inadequate PPE had a further increase in risk. And healthcare workers from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds were more likely to test positive.

The researchers from King’s College London and Harvard looked at data from 2,035,395 individuals and 99,795 frontline healthcare workers in the UK and US, using the COVID symptom tracker app.

The prevalence of COVID was 2747 cases per 100,000 frontline healthcare workers compared with 242 cases in the general community.

BAME healthcare workers had at least a fivefold increased risk of infection compared with the non-Hispanic white general community.

The researchers say their study also shows the crucial for additional strategies to protect healthcare workers.