Amid the coronavirus outbreak, hospitals across the country have scrambled to secure proper personal protective equipment, or PPE, for front-line workers.
However, a new study found that even with adequate PPE, those workers still face a high risk of being infected with COVID-19.
The study from King’s College in London found that front-line workers still are more than three times as likely to contract the virus, even with the right gloves, gowns and face protection.
“Data for front-line health-care workers and risk of COVID-19 are limited. We sought to assess risk of COVID-19 among front-line health-care workers compared with the general community and the effect of personal protective equipment (PPE) on risk,” the researchers wrote.
Black and Latino health care workers were at an even higher risk: Five times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than their white coworkers, according to the study.
“In the UK and the USA, risk of reporting a positive test for COVID-19 was increased among front-line health-care workers. Health-care systems should ensure adequate availability of PPE and develop additional strategies to protect health-care workers from COVID-19, particularly those from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic backgrounds,” the researchers wrote.
In the study, the researchers looked at a COVID Symptom Tracker to look at the data of more than 2 million people and 100,000 health care workers on the frontlines. They found more than 2,700 positive cases per 100,000 front line works, versus about 240 cases per 100,000 in the general public.