1. Epidemiology and Global Health
  2. Medicine
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Effective control of SARS-CoV-2 transmission between healthcare workers during a period of diminished community prevalence of COVID-19

  1. Nick K Jones
  2. Lucy Rivett
  3. Dominic Sparkes
  4. Sally Forrest
  5. Sushmita Sridhar
  6. Jamie Young
  7. Joana Pereira-Dias
  8. Claire Cormie
  9. Harmeet Gill
  10. Nicola Reynolds
  11. Michelle Wantoch
  12. Matthew Routledge
  13. Ben Warne
  14. Jack Levy
  15. William David Córdova Jiménez
  16. Fathima Nisha Begum Samad
  17. Chris McNicholas
  18. Mark Ferris
  19. Jane Gray
  20. Michael Gill
  21. The CITIID-NIHR COVID-19 BioResource Collaboration
  22. Martin D Curran
  23. Stewart Fuller
  24. Afzal Chaudhry
  25. Ashley Shaw
  26. John R Bradley
  27. Gregory J Hannon
  28. Ian G Goodfellow
  29. Gordon Dougan
  30. Kenneth GC Smith
  31. Paul J Lehner
  32. Giles Wright
  33. Nicholas J Matheson
  34. Stephen Baker
  35. Michael P Weekes  Is a corresponding author
  1. Department of Infectious Diseases, Cambridge University NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust, United Kingdom
  2. Clinical Microbiology & Public Health Laboratory, Public Health England, United Kingdom
  3. Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  4. Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology & Infectious Disease (CITIID), Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  5. Wellcome Sanger Institute, United Kingdom
  6. Academic Department of Medical Genetics, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  7. Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  8. Wellcome - MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  9. Department of Haematology, School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  10. Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  11. Improvement and Transformation Team, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom
  12. Occupational Health and Wellbeing, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom
  13. Cancer Research United Kingdom Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  14. National Institutes for Health Research Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, United Kingdom
  15. Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom
  16. National Institutes for Health Research Cambridge, Clinical Research Facility, United Kingdom
  17. Division of Virology, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  18. NHS Blood and Transplant, United Kingdom
Research Advance
Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e59391 doi: 10.7554/eLife.59391
1 figure, 2 tables and 1 additional file

Figures

Trends in positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests among HCWs, hospital patients and the wider community over time.

(a) Positive SARS-CoV-2 tests for asymptomatic and symptomatic screening arms by week. (b) Total HCW SARS-CoV-2 tests in CUHNFT performed by week. (c) Total positive SARS-CoV-2 patient tests in Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (CUHNFT) by week. (d) Total positive SARS-CoV-2 tests in the East of England (EOE) by week.

Figure 1—source data 1

Source data for trends in SARS-CoV-2 PCR positive HCWs, hospital patients and individuals in the wider community.

https://cdn.elifesciences.org/articles/59391/elife-59391-fig1-data1-v3.xlsx

Tables

Table 1
Combined data for SARS-CoV-2 RNA positive HCWs by role and screening arm, from the present study and our previous study (Rivett et al., 2020).

Difference in proportions of HCWs testing positive through the symptomatic screening arm was analysed using Pearson’s chi-square test.

RoleHCW asymptomatic screening armHCW symptomatic screening armTotal number of hospital employees
Nurse25193621
Healthcare assistant1481734
Doctor861871
Cleaners23560
Radiographer21217
Radiology support worker0135
Physiotherapist10116
  1. Overall, 360 individuals underwent repeat testing, either as part of the asymptomatic screening programme, or for other reasons as previously described (Rivett et al., 2020). The median turnaround time from sample arrival in the laboratory to final verification was 18 hr 45 min. Positive results were called out on the same day, with negative results emailed within 24 hr.

Table 2
Positive tests and total number of SARS-CoV-2 tests performed in each screening arm categorised according to week since starting the healthcare worker testing programme (6th April–24th May 2020).
Week commencing
6th April13th April20th April27th April4th May11th May18th MayTotal
HCW asymptomatic screening arm4/12120/3837/52911/5508/4831/7381/84052/3644

(1.4%)
HCW symptomatic screening arm1/1514/6011/957/1193/1040/1642/16838/725

(5.2%)
HCW symptomatic household contacts1/73/180/260/621/500/510/535/267

(1.8%)
Unknown0/00/20/130/00/40/10/10/21
All6/143
(4.1%)
37/463
(7.9%)
18/663
(2.7%)
18/731
(2.4%)
12/641
(1.8%)
1/954
(0.1%)
3/1062
(0.2%)
95/4657
(2%)

Data availability

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.

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