Adults reporting to workplace more likely to catch virus, study says

Friday, November 6, 2020
Adults reporting to workplace more likely to catch COVID-19
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Do you often feel nervous about COVID-19 when you're at work? No, you're not paranoid and yes, you should share those concerns with your employer in order to keep yourself healthy.

Since March, there have been huge measures taken to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace, from working remotely to mass closures of businesses.

As we head into the fall and winter seasons, new information from the CDC shows the high risk of catching COVID-19 for those people actually going into work and back to school.

It comes as no surprise. A new report from the CDC's MMWR Weekly finds employed adults who tested positive for COVID-19 were more than twice as likely to report going into work regularly compared to employed adults who reported working from home.

Researchers determined community transmission was drastically lower in areas where more workers were given the option to telework.

RELATED: Houston workers heading back to office at second-highest rate in U.S., study shows

The CDC says providing the option to work from home when possible is important to reduce possible worksite exposure.

In industries where those options are not available, the CDC says workers should continue to wear masks, wash their hands regularly and stay as far away from one another as possible.

"We use six feet as a guideline, but there is new research coming out that the virus can be spread through aerosols which can travel further in the air," infectious disease doctor Catherine Troisi said. "Just try to keep as far away from other people as you can."

As a reminder, according to the CDC, here are the groups who are at a higher risk for the virus and should be working from home if possible:

  • Older adults
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone with an underlying, pre-existing condition
  • If you live with someone who falls under one of the above categories

The report suggests that businesses with employees who cannot work from home should make sure their safety measures are scaled up as we head into flu season.

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