The spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and reported outcomes among health and social care workers (HSCWs) is concerning. Early in the outbreak it was recommended in the UK that HSCWs experiencing symptoms of a cough or fever remain absent from work for 7 days. In order to address this problem, National Health Service (NHS) Tayside, a health board in Scotland covering a population of 400,000, was the first in Scotland to set up a drive-through testing programme for HSCWs, other key workers and their symptomatic household contacts (including children), with results available within 24 h, allowing staff to return to work following a negative test. As testing for SARS-CoV-2 was limited to hospitalised patients across much of Europe there is limited data on the self-reported clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients in the community with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Here, we report characteristics and outcomes of HSCWs presenting to the drive-through testing centre who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on a combined nasal and pharyngeal swab. Anonymised record linkage was conducted between routinely collected healthcare datasets in order to ascertain clinical characteristics and outcomes of those who tested positive. All hospitalisations until 25 April and deaths until 20 May, 2020 were recorded. Approval was obtained from the local data protection officer (Caldicott Guardian).

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Siddiqui, M., Parcell, B., Allstaff, S., Palmer, C., Chalmers, J. & Bell, S. 2020, 'Characteristics and outcomes of health and social care workers testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the Tayside region of Scotland', European Respiratory Journal, 56(3), article no: 2002568. https://doi.org/10.1183/13993003.02568-2020

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Last updated: 28 October 2022
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