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High rate of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection among grocery store employees: study



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The first study of its kind published in the magazine showed that grocery store employees may be at a higher risk of COVID-19 infection, and employees facing customer roles are five times more likely to test positive than colleagues in other positions. Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The researchers said that more importantly, three-quarters of those who tested positive had no symptoms, indicating that these key workers may be an important source of infection.

The published research on basic/critical personnel mainly focuses on medical personnel. In an attempt to bridge this knowledge gap and find out how COVID-1

9 affects the health of other key employees, they studied 104 employees in a grocery store in Boston, Massachusetts.

As part of the mandatory testing policy throughout Boston, each employee was tested for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that responds to COVID-19 infection) in May this year.

But before doing so, they completed a detailed questionnaire on the following aspects: their lifestyle; medical history; work experience; work patterns and roles in the store; commuting to and from get off work; and what they can take to prevent infection at work Protective measures.

They were also asked to provide information about COVID-19, including any symptoms in the past 14 days and anyone exposed to confirmed SARS-CoV-2. Information about mental health comes from two valid depression and anxiety questionnaires: PHQ-9 and GAD-7.

One-fifth (21 of 104) workers tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, indicating that the prevalence at that point in time was 20%. This was much higher than the infection rate in the local community at that time: 0.9-1.3%.

Three-quarters (76%) of patients who tested positive had no symptoms. Among those who tested positively, the majority (91%) had the role of facing customers, compared with 59% in the negative test.

Taking into account the potential influencing factors (for example, the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2), employees in customer roles are five times more likely to undergo positive tests than colleagues in other roles. Those in supervisory positions are six times more likely to do so.

Ninety-nine employees filled out the mental health questionnaire: 24 employees reported having at least mild anxiety. Only half of them (46%) stated that they were able to practice social distancing consistently at work, while most people who were not anxious (76%) were able to do so.

Eight employees were considered mildly frustrated from their answers to the questionnaire. Compared with those who are not frustrated, they are less likely to maintain a distance from society at work and are more likely to commute to and from get off work on public transport or shared rides.

Those who can walk, bike or drive to get off work are 90% less likely to report depression.

This is a small observational study of workers in a certain shop at a certain time in a city. It relies on subjective reports, so the cause cannot be determined. Please warn the researchers.

However, they said: “This is the first study to prove that asymptomatic infection rates, exposure risks, and related psychological distress are essential for grocery retail during a pandemic.”

They pointed out: “Once basic workers are infected with SARS-CoV-2, they may become an important source of transmission for the communities they serve.”

They believe that the survey results support: “Relevant employers and government officials should take action to implement preventive strategies and policy recommendations for administrative arrangements, such as reducing interpersonal contact, duplication and routine SARS-CoV-2 employee testing methods to ensure health and basic workers’ Safety.”

They also added: “Our important mental health findings require action to provide comprehensive employee assistance services to help essential workers cope with psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic.”


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More information:
Association between SARS-CoV-2 infection, exposure risk and mental health among a group of basic retail workers in the United States, DOI: 10.1136 / oemed-2020-106774

Provided by the British Medical Journal

CitationHigh rate of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection among grocery store employees: This study (October 29, 2020) was launched on October 30, 2020 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-10-high-symptomless Retrieved in -covid-infection-grocery. html

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