OBJECTIVE: To describe the seroprevalence and risk for SARS-CoV-2 among healthcare workers (HCWs) by job function and work location following the pandemic’s first wave in New York City (NYC).
METHODS: A cross-sectional study conducted between May 18 and June 26, 2020, during which HCWs at a large inner-city teaching hospital in NYC received voluntary antibody testing. The main outcome was presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies indicating previous infection. Seroprevalence and adjusted odds ratios (aORs) for seropositivity by type and location of work were calculated using logistic regression analyses.
RESULTS: Of 2,749 HCWs tested, 831 tested positive, yielding a crude seroprevalence of 30.2% (95% CI, 29%-32%). Seroprevalence ranged from 11.1% for pharmacy staff to 44.0% for nonclinical HCWs comprised of patient transporters and housekeeping and security staff, with 37.5% for nurses and 20.9% for administrative staff. Compared to administrative staff, aORs (95% CIs) for seropositivity were 2.54 (1.64-3.94) for nurses; 2.51 (1.42-4.43) for nonclinical HCWs; between 1.70 and 1.83 for allied HCWs such as patient care technicians, social workers, registration clerks and therapists; and 0.80 (0.50-1.29) for physicians. Compared to office locations, aORs for the emergency department and inpatient units were 2.27 (1.53-3.37) and 1.48 (1.14-1.92), respectively.
CONCLUSION: One-third of hospital-based HCWs were seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 by the end of the first wave in NYC. Seroprevalence differed by job function and work location, with the highest estimated risk for nurses and the emergency department, respectively. These findings support current nationwide policy prioritizing HCWs for receipt of newly authorized COVID-19 vaccines.
SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence among healthcare workers by job function and work location in a New York inner-city hospital
Journal of Hospital Medicine, 16 (5), 282-289. doi: 10.12788/jhm.3627. PMCID: PMC8086991.