Construction Workers at High Risk for COVID

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay reporter

MONDAY, November 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Construction workers have a higher risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19 than other workers, according to a new study.

Using data collected between March and August on hospitalizations in Austin, Texas, researchers found construction workers were five times more likely than people in other occupations to be hospitalized with COVID-19 .

Their greater vulnerability is likely due to the fact that construction work continued throughout the pandemic, even during stay-at-home orders and other community-wide public health measures, suggested. the authors of the study.

And the nature of the work is riskier due to the close contact with others, the researchers said.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean we have to stop construction,” said Lauren Ancel Meyers, director of the COVID-19 Modeling Consortium at the University of Texas at Austin. “This means that we must go to great lengths to ensure the health and safety of workers when they go to work.”

Encouraging basic workplace safety precautions, such as wearing masks and physical distancing, would help, as would giving workers paid sick leave and other incentives to stay home. when they have been exposed or have mild symptoms, to help reduce risk, the researchers said in a university press release.

Regular COVID-19 testing at work with contact tracing and isolation of detected cases would also help curb the spread, the study authors added.

The results were published online on October 29 in JAMA network open.

More information

To learn more about COVID-19, head to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCE: University of Texas at Austin, press release, October 29, 2020

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