The California Department of Public Health provided new data on the state’s positive COVID-19 tests on Wednesday, and provided the striking piece of information that health care workers make up nearly 10 percent of the state’s confirmed cases.
At the time of the report’s publication, there were 16,957 confirmed cases in the state, and 1,651 involved health care workers. However, just 299 of health workers were known to have acquired the virus in a “health setting,” while 462 were exposed via travel, close contacts, or community transmission, and a whopping 890 cases are of unknown origin.
“Since COVID-19 is moving rapidly within the community, health care workers now appear just as likely, if not more so, to become infected by COVID-19 outside the workplace,” the report states.
The report did not give any additional information on which workers are seeing higher infection rates.
“This larger number, which includes both occupational and non-occupational exposures, is important because it shows the overall impact of COVID-19 on the health care workforce,” the authors of the report write. “Regardless of the source of exposure, an infected health care worker needs to isolate from the workforce to prevent risk of infection to colleagues and the patients they serve.”