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Effective control of SARS-CoV-2 transmission between healthcare workers during a period of diminished community prevalence of COVID-19

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Rivett, Lucy 
Sparkes, Dominic 
Forrest, Sally 


Previously, we showed that 3% (31/1032)of asymptomatic healthcare workers (HCWs) from a large teaching hospital in Cambridge, UK, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in April 2020. About 15% (26/169) HCWs with symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (Rivett et al., 2020). Here, we show that the proportion of both asymptomatic and symptomatic HCWs testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 rapidly declined to near-zero between 25th April and 24th May 2020, corresponding to a decline in patient admissions with COVID-19 during the ongoing UK ‘lockdown’. These data demonstrate how infection prevention and control measures including staff testing may help prevent hospitals from becoming independent ‘hubs’ of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, and illustrate how, with appropriate precautions, organizations in other sectors may be able to resume on-site work safely.


Funder: Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust, Cambridge University Hospitals; FundRef:

Funder: National Institute for Health Research; FundRef:


Research Advance, Epidemiology and Global Health, Human Biology and Medicine, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, infectious disease, virology, occupational health, emerging pathogens, Human

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eLife Sciences Publications, Ltd
Wellcome (108070/Z/15/Z)
Wellcome (215515/Z/19/Z)
Wellcome (207498?Z/17/Z)
Wellcome (206298/B/17/Z)
Wellcome (210688/Z/18/Z)
Wellcome (200871/Z/16/Z)
Medical Research Council (MR/P008801/1)
NHS Blood and Transplant (WPA15-02)
Cancer Research UK (C38317/A24043)