FRIDAY, Aug. 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Among health care providers in the New York City area, 13.7 percent have severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies, a rate similar to adults randomly tested in New York state, according to a research letter published online Aug. 6 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Joseph Moscola, from Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York, and colleagues investigated the prevalence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 among health care providers. Voluntary antibody testing, regardless of symptoms, was offered from April 20, 2020, to June 23, 2020, to all Northwell health care providers at 52 sites in the greater New York City area.

The researchers report that 46,117 health care providers (65.1 percent) were tested (median age, 42 years; 73.3 percent women; 16.0 percent Black and 14.0 percent Hispanic). Nurses (28.4 percent) and physicians (9.3 percent) accounted for more than one-third of those tested. More than one in eight health care providers (13.7 percent) were seropositive. Of the 2,186 with a previous polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive test result, 93.5 percent were also seropositive. In an adjusted analysis, there were associations for a previous positive PCR test result (relative risk, 1.52) and reported high suspicion of virus exposure (relative risk, 1.23) with seroprevalence.

“As researchers, it’s important to us to share findings from our antibody testing, and we are pleased to know that the personal protective equipment we used was successful in protecting the vast majority of our staff,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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