Effective control of SARS-CoV-2 transmission between healthcare workers during a period of diminished community prevalence of COVID-19.
Jones NK., Rivett L., Sparkes D., Forrest S., Sridhar S., Young J., Pereira-Dias J., Cormie C., Gill H., Reynolds N., Wantoch M., Routledge M., Warne B., Levy J., Córdova Jiménez WD., Samad FNB., McNicholas C., Ferris M., Gray J., Gill M., CITIID-NIHR COVID-19 BioResource Collaboration None., Curran MD., Fuller S., Chaudhry A., Shaw A., Bradley JR., Hannon GJ., Goodfellow IG., Dougan G., Smith KG., Lehner PJ., Wright G., Matheson NJ., Baker S., Weekes MP.
Previously, we showed that 3% (31/1032)of asymptomatic healthcare workers (HCWs) from a large teaching hospital in Cambridge, UK, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in April 2020. About 15% (26/169) HCWs with symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (Rivett et al., 2020). Here, we show that the proportion of both asymptomatic and symptomatic HCWs testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 rapidly declined to near-zero between 25th April and 24th May 2020, corresponding to a decline in patient admissions with COVID-19 during the ongoing UK 'lockdown'. These data demonstrate how infection prevention and control measures including staff testing may help prevent hospitals from becoming independent 'hubs' of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, and illustrate how, with appropriate precautions, organizations in other sectors may be able to resume on-site work safely.