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Odds of getting COVID as a healthcare worker


Specializes in adult ICU. Has 13 years experience.

Can't help but wonder what the odds of contracting COVID-19 are as a U.S. bedside healthcare worker in direct care of confirmed and rule-out COVID patients? Haven't seen any articles in the media analyzing this topic, and I suspect that it may be in part because a focused analysis would make anxiety soar among HCWs and our families. P.S. the risk, however hard to quantify, is unacceptably high in my circumstances (high-risk spouse, young kids, no way to distance self from them in case of exposure as they depend on me for care) so I have left the bedside.

Edited by BlessYourHeartt

I am sure the odds are both high, and unknown. No doubt that a certain percentage of us are asymptomatic or presymptomatic. But, the only way to quantify this would be to do random testing of HCWs, and we don't have enough tests to use them for data collection.

I don't think the lack of reporting has anything to do with a collaboration by the press to manage the anxiety of healthcare workers. And, I don't think the press is a great way for healthcare professionals to get information on healthcare.

As nurses, we should not be getting our information from our preferred news outlets. Or facebook. Get your information either from primary sources, or from trusted medical experts and sources. Hannity-NO. Faucci-YES. You want to know about risks to HCWs? Try this Lancet article.


Or go a step further, look at the original data, and use your critical thinking skills combined with your clinical experience.

Imagine a poll done 1 month ago with a simple question: "Does Corona Virus represent a significant threat to this country"

Let's take two people who use two very different new outlets for information. Fox and NPR. Like many, they also Google stuff and go to facebook. Because of how FB and Google algorithms work, what they find there will not provide a spectrum of information. Instead, it direct you to places you have already shown an interest. It is why I get mountain bike ads on facebook after shopping with Google.

If you look at how these two outlets portrayed this story 1 month ago, you certainly would have gotten opposite answers on this poll, despite each person spending the same amount of time absorbing information.

Sadala, ADN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg. Has 7 years experience.

Well at our hospital, they won't test nurses (even with high levels of exposure - like their spouse being ill with confirmed covid) unless they are symptomatic. I'm very uncomfortable with this.


Specializes in Emergency Room. Has 15 years experience.

Minnesota lists the case count total as well as the healthcare worker case count. It is consistently at 10%. I struggle with the same issues, being high-risk with young klids, and an older mom in the first place. combine that with inadequate PPE and it is a nerve-wracking thing.


Total positive cases: 37,624

Number of health care workers: 3,732