On-the-job infectionMillions of U.S. Workers at Risk of Infections on the Job, Researchers Calculate, Emphasizing Need to Protect Against COVID-19

Published 29 April 2020

A University of Washington researcher calculates that 14.4 million workers face exposure to infection once a week and 26.7 million at least once a month in the workplace, pointing to an important population needing protection as the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, continues to break out across the U.S. Jake Ellison writes for UW News that Marissa Baker, an assistant professor in the UW School of Public Health, based her calculations on research she published in 2018 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine. In that paper, Baker and co-authors calculated that about 8 percent of workers in Federal Region X — comprised of Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho — work in jobs where exposure to infection or disease occurs at least once a week at work. Those risks include flu-like illnesses, MRSA and other respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19, as well as wound infections.