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(as if we didn’t already know)

The Center for Disease Control [CDC] conducted a survey of 6,760 Health Care Practitioners [HCP] hospitalized with COVID-19 from March 1–May 31, 2020.

The report found that nearly 6% of all patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were health care workers:

  • Over one third 36.3% of those patients were nurses.
  • Over two-thirds, 67.4%, had direct patient contact
  • Over 4% of the health care workers who were hospitalized died.
  • The median age of hospitalized HCP (49 years)
  • Approximately 90% of hospitalized HCP reported at least one underlying condition, with obesity being the most common and reported for over two thirds (72.5%) of patients.

Nursing-related occupations (36.3%) represented the largest proportion of HCP hospitalized with COVID-19.

  • Nurses are at particular risk for exposure because of their:
  • Frequent and close patient contact,
  • Extended cumulative exposure time.

The prevalence of severe COVID-19–associated illness among HCP, and nurses specifically, could decrease the workforce capacity of the health care system and further exacerbate the ability to provide safe quality patient care.
To decrease the risk for COVID-19 transmission in health care facilities, the CDC recommends that HCP:

  • Use face masks (i.e., medical masks, such as surgical or procedure masks) at all times while they are in health care facilities, including patient-care areas, staff member rooms, and areas where other HCP might be present
  • Wear eye protection for all patient care encounters.
  • Manage obesity through evidence-based clinical care as well as policies, systems, and environmental changes to support HCP in healthy lifestyles.