COVID-19 infection among healthcare workers in a national healthcare system: The Qatar experience
Jeremijenko, Andrew M.
Abraham, Joji C.
Concepcion, Elli Gabriel
Ajwad Butt, Adeel
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Background: Our aim was to determine the prevalence of COVID-19 infection in healthcare workers (HCW) in a national healthcare system and to understand the risk factors for infection. Methods: The study was conducted at Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar, a national healthcare system with 14 hospitals and >28,000 employees, between March 10-June 24, 2020. Data on COVID19+ HCW were retrieved from the electronic health records and employment records, followed by an email survey and a focused telephone interview. Results: Among 16,912 HCW tested, 10.6% tested positive. Hospitalization rate was 11.6%, 1.3% required supplemental oxygen, 0.6% needed intensive care unit admission and 0.3% required mechanical ventilation. There were no deaths. In a follow-up survey of 393 HCW, 5% reported acquiring infection at a COVID-19-designated facility and 95% at a non-COVID-19 facility having acquired the infection through accidental exposure to a colleague (45%) or a patient (29%). Full PPE adherence was 82% at COVID-19-designated but only 68% at non-COVID-19 facilities. Conclusions: COVID-19 infection among HCW often occurs among those not directly working with COVID-19 patients. PPE use is less stringent in such settings. Risk of exposure and need for strict PPE must be stressed upon all HCW in all settings.
Link to resourcehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.09.027
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