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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.

Original publication

DOI

10.7554/elife.59391

Type

Journal

eLife

Publication Date

19/06/2020

Volume

9

Addresses

Department of Infectious Diseases, Cambridge University NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Keywords

CITIID-NIHR COVID-19 BioResource Collaboration, Nasopharynx, Humans, Community-Acquired Infections, Pneumonia, Viral, Coronavirus Infections, Occupational Diseases, Mass Screening, Patient Admission, Clinical Laboratory Techniques, Contact Tracing, Prevalence, Program Evaluation, Family Characteristics, Infection Control, Adult, Middle Aged, Health Personnel, Hospitals, Teaching, Hospitals, University, Hospital Units, England, Female, Male, Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional, Disease Transmission, Infectious, Asymptomatic Diseases, Pandemics, Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction, Symptom Assessment, Betacoronavirus, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 Testing