Healthcare workers ‘seven times more likely to get severe Covid’

A healthcare worker wearing a mask
The Canary

Healthcare workers have a seven-fold increased risk of getting severe coronavirus (Covid-19), a new study suggests. Researchers said social care and transport staff have also got an increased risk.


The new study, published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, examined data from the UK Biobank and Public Health England.

Researchers found that of 120,075 participants in the Biobank database, 271 had severe coronavirus.

Among all participants, 29% were “essential” workers in occupations including healthcare, social care, education, and transport. They compared these workers to so-called “non essential workers”.

Healthcare workers were found to have a seven-fold increased risk of severe coronavirus. Those working in social care and in education were 84% as likely to do so, while ‘other’ essential workers had a 60% higher risk of developing severe coronavirus.


The authors of the report, led by scientists from the University of Glasgow, concluded:

Essential workers have a higher risk of severe coronavirus.

These findings underscore the need for national and organisational policies and practices that protect and support workers with an elevated risk of severe Covid-19.

Our findings reinforce the need for adequate health and safety arrangements and provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), particularly in the health and social care sectors.

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