Italy presented the first largest COVID-19 outbreak outside of China. Veneto currently ranks fourth among the Italian regions for COVID-19 confirmed cases (~19,000). This study presents health surveillance data for SARS-CoV-2 in 6100 health workers (HW) employed in a large public hospital. Workers underwent oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swabs, with a total of 5942 participants (97.5% of the population). A total of 11,890 specimens were tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection using PCR, identifying the viral genes E, RdRP, and N. Positive tests were returned for 238 workers (cumulative incidence of 4.0%, similar in both COVID and nonCOVID units). SARS-CoV-2 risk was not affected by gender, age, or job type, whereas work setting and occupation were both predictors of infection. The risk was higher in medical wards (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.9–3.9) and health services (OR 4.3, 95% CI 2.4–7.6), and lower in surgical wards and administration areas. To our knowledge, this study represents the largest available HW case list swab-tested for SARS-CoV-2, covering almost the total workforce. Mass screening enabled the isolation of HW, improved risk assessment, allowed for close contacts of and infected HW to return to work, provided evidence of SARS-CoV-2 diffusion, and presented solid ground to prevent nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infections. The ongoing concurrent sero-epidemiological study aims to enable the improvement of health surveillance to maintain the safety of HWs and the communities they serve.

Health Surveillance and Response to SARS-CoV-2 Mass Testing in Health Workers of a Large Italian Hospital in Verona, Veneto

Stefano Porru;Angela Carta
;
Maria Grazia Lourdes Monaco;Giuseppe Verlato;Andrea Battaggia;Marco Parpaiola;Giuliana Lo Cascio;Manuela Pegoraro;Francesca Moretti;Stefano Tardivo
2020

Abstract

Italy presented the first largest COVID-19 outbreak outside of China. Veneto currently ranks fourth among the Italian regions for COVID-19 confirmed cases (~19,000). This study presents health surveillance data for SARS-CoV-2 in 6100 health workers (HW) employed in a large public hospital. Workers underwent oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swabs, with a total of 5942 participants (97.5% of the population). A total of 11,890 specimens were tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection using PCR, identifying the viral genes E, RdRP, and N. Positive tests were returned for 238 workers (cumulative incidence of 4.0%, similar in both COVID and nonCOVID units). SARS-CoV-2 risk was not affected by gender, age, or job type, whereas work setting and occupation were both predictors of infection. The risk was higher in medical wards (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.9–3.9) and health services (OR 4.3, 95% CI 2.4–7.6), and lower in surgical wards and administration areas. To our knowledge, this study represents the largest available HW case list swab-tested for SARS-CoV-2, covering almost the total workforce. Mass screening enabled the isolation of HW, improved risk assessment, allowed for close contacts of and infected HW to return to work, provided evidence of SARS-CoV-2 diffusion, and presented solid ground to prevent nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infections. The ongoing concurrent sero-epidemiological study aims to enable the improvement of health surveillance to maintain the safety of HWs and the communities they serve.
mass screening
healthcare workers
COVID-19
swab test
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1029558
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