Health care workers (HCW) are at risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, as a result of potential exposures in their workplace. Risk of infection can be minimised with the application of infection prevention and control practices including rigorous hand hygiene and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Cases of infection among HCWs may indicate a breakdown in infection prevention and control practices or may be the result of unrecognised factors. Confirming and understanding the context of transmission in the workplace and identifying factors associated with infection are critical to inform policies and guidelines aimed at protecting HCW while performing their professional duties.
An enhanced investigation of HCW with COVID-19 in NSW to identify factors associated with transmission in the workplace. This project will provide valuable information to inform local workplace and NSW Health policy and practices.
A case-series will be conducted using an enhanced case investigation questionnaire among HCW infected with COVID-19 to explore workplace specific risks and exposures. A case-control study may be conducted to complement the case-series.
Findings from this enhanced investigation among HCW will provide key information to inform and improve workplace and NSW Health policy and practices, ensuring protection of HCW from infection during this and subsequent similar epidemics. Findings are likely to have national and international applicability.
This project is supported by the Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney and NSW Health.