A one-year-follow-up retrospective cohort study has been conducted among NHS employees working at 123 facilities in Lincolnshire, UK.
The reason why Black and South Asian healthcare workers are at a higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection remain unclear. We aim to quantify risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection among ethnic minority healthcare staff and elucidate pathways of infection.
Overall, 13,366 professionals were included. SARS-CoV-2 incidence per person-year was 5.2% [95%CI: 3.6%-7.6%] during the first COVID-19 wave (Jan-Aug 2020) and 17.2% [13.5%-22.0%] during the second wave (Sep 2020-Feb 2021). Compared to White staff, Black and South Asian employees were at higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection during both the first wave (HR, 1.58 [0.91-2.75] and 1.69 [1.07-2.66] respectively) and the second wave (HR 2.09 [1.57-2.76] and 1.46 [1.24-1.71]). Higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection persisted even after controlling for age, gender, pay grade, residence environment, type of work and time exposure at work. Higher adjusted risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection were also found among lower-paid health professionals.
Black and South Asian health workers continue to be more at risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to their White counterparts. Urgent interventions are required to reduce SARS-CoV-2 infection in these ethnic groups.
Inghels M, Kane R, Lall P, Nelson D, Nanyonjo A, Asghar Z, Ward D, McCranor T, Kavanagh T, Hogue T, Phull J, Tanser F. (2022). Ethnicity and risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection among the healthcare workforce: Results of a retrospective cohort study in rural United Kingdom. International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases