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Health

Study Finds Health Care Workers Most Likely To Develop COVID-19 Infection From Exposure At Home

A KN95 mask and a surgical mask.
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A University of Iowa study found COVID-19 infections for health care workers were more likely to develop from exposure at home than in the workplace.

A University of Iowa study has found health care workers were more likely to develop COVID-19 infections from exposures at home as opposed to in their workplace.

A University of Iowa study has found health care workers were more likely to develop COVID-19 infections from exposures at home as opposed to in their workplace.

The study, which was published in the journal Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, used data from 1,749 health care workers at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, who self-reported significant COVID-19 exposures between Sep. 1 and Nov. 30 of last year.

According to study data, 17 percent of those exposures turned into infections.

The data showed 26 percent of exposures at home turned into infections, compared to just 10 percent of exposures in the workplace and 18 percent of exposures in the community.

Brooks Jackson, the Dean of the University of Iowa College of Medicine, said the results didn't surprise him. He said people tend to let down their guard at home.

"I think when you look at an eight-hour day in the workplace, you know, during this time period, you know, probably 95 percent of the time, people are wearing masks," he said.

The study defined significant exposure as being within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes without wearing a mask.