While some employers are content to maintain remote or hybrid work situations for their workers, either because of strong stances by those employees or out of ongoing concern for COVID-19, others are pushing to repopulate the expensive buildings they’re paying for. The concern, of course, is that more exposure to each other could equate to more exposure to COVID-19 and increased risk for disease among the work force. So far, however, the risk among office workers seems to be relatively low compared to other people (including the unemployed, students, and retirees), at least in Massachusetts. The commonwealth’s Department of Public Health broke down 41,000 positive coronavirus cases that occurred between July 2020 and November 2021 by “occupation.” Office workers accounted for 1,370 of those cases, or just 3% of the total. Students made up the greatest proportion, with 9,107 cases (22% of the total). They were followed by unemployed people (5,078; 12%), children/minors/infants (4,591; 11%); and retirees (4,466; just under 11%). The only healthcare workers that registered were nurses, who accounted for 984 cases (2%). It’s important to bear in mind that this doesn’t mean risk is lower according to where one works. Rather, the data likely speak to the success of precautions, including vaccination, limiting exposure, and workplace safety protocols. JUCM published an article about this very issue. You can read ‘Occupational Exposure’ to Covid-19 online right now.
More People Are Trudging Off to Work on Site. Do You Know Who’s at Greatest Risk for COVID-19?