According to a new study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, staff in grocery stores, especially those interacting with customers, are very likely to be infected by the coronavirus.
According to CNN, these workers are probably not even aware of the “important source of transmission” of the disease, because most of the study is asymptomatic.
The network found that the study found that 20% of 104 grocery store workers who were examined in a Boston store in May tested positive for nasal swabs.
This analysis proved for the first time the asymptomatic infection rate, exposure risk and psychological impact these workers felt during the virus outbreak.
Researchers say that the 20% infection rate is significantly higher than the surrounding communities.
The report stated that employees who deal with customers are five times more likely to be tested positive than employees in other positions, but three-quarters of employees have no symptoms.
Dr. Justin Yang, an assistant professor at Boston University School of Medicine and a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health, said: “We are very surprised to see so many people asymptomatic.”
He added: “This is absolutely shocking because it means that employees of retail grocery stores are in contact with customers and act as intermediaries for the virus, almost like super spreaders.”
Research participants have tried to take preventive measures.
Almost all people (91%) said they wear masks at work, and 77% said they also wear masks outside of working hours-but only about 66% said they can always maintain social distancing at work.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents 1.3 million employees, said at least 108 grocery store workers have died and more than 16,300 people have been infected or exposed to the coronavirus.