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Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Health Care Personnel in the New York City Area

JAMA. Published online August 6, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.14765


The greater New York City (NYC) area, including the 5 boroughs and surrounding counties, has a high incidence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),1 and health care personnel (HCP) working there have a high exposure risk. HCP have expressed concerns about access to testing so that infection spread to patients, other HCP, and their families can be minimized.2 The Northwell Health System, the largest in New York State, sought to address this concern by offering voluntary antibody testing to all HCP. We investigated the prevalence of antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among HCP and associations with demographics, primary work location and type, and suspicion of virus exposure.

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Overall, 5523 of 40 329 (13.7% [95% CI, 13.4%-14.0%]) HCP were seropositive. Of 6078 with previous PCR testing, 2186 (34.8%) were PCR positive. Of these PCR-positive HCP, 2044 (93.5%) were also seropositive, leaving 142 (6.5%) with negative antibody test results. Of the 3892 PCR-negative HCP, 3490 (89.7%) were also seronegative. Of 34 251 with no PCR testing, 3077 (9.0%) were seropositive.



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