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‘Deep dive’ analysis of healthcare worker Covid-19 infections being conducted

A ‘deep dive’ analysis of Covid-19 infection in healthcare workers to establish the likely causes is being carried out by University College Dublin (UCD). 

A sample of 150-300 cases among healthcare workers are under examination as part of the analysis, a HSE spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI). 

Ethnicity data was recently added to the contact tracing surveillance report and computerised infectious disease reporting (CIDR) system, and will be included within the UCD analysis.

In addition, point prevalence testing will be carried out in two major hospitals in a given week to find out the prevalence of healthcare worker infections. 

Furthermore, the HSE is reviewing a sample of the last six outbreaks in hospitals to establish the causes of healthcare transmission in the context of an outbreak.

A national programme for testing all healthcare workers in nursing homes was set to commence for four weeks in a row.

There is also a process for healthcare workers moving from high-risk areas to low-risk areas to be risk-assessed and tested.

Up to 22 June, more than 8,200 cases of Covid-19 had been recorded in healthcare workers, according to data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. 

Almost 35 per cent of healthcare workers who contracted the virus had an underlying health condition. Around 70 per cent of cases were “health setting acquired”. 

Recently HSE CEO Mr Paul Reid urged caution on comparing healthcare worker infection rates globally, as he said Ireland had adopted a “wide” definition that included caterers, porters and support staff, for example.

According to the HSE, all incidents where a staff member tests positive for Covid-19 are reported to the national incident management system (NIMS) as an incident.

“We are currently uploading this data via the State Claims Agency. This will greatly assist us in examining the risks and the effects of mitigating any risks and we will produce a report following this work.”

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