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Study links COVID-19 risk, anxiety in retail workers

Posted On: Nov. 3, 2020 1:40 PM CST


Twenty-four percent of retail workers surveyed reported having mild anxiety and 8% reported mild depression during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published Friday in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.


Researchers with the Harvard University School of Public Health provided a questionnaire to 104 workers in the Boston area, gathering data on testing, demographics and sentiments during the pandemic.


The study is touted as the first to demonstrate the “significant” asymptomatic infection rate, with 76% of COVID-19-positive workers found to have no symptoms of the virus, exposure risks and associated psychological distress of grocery retail essential workers during the pandemic.


Researchers say the findings support “the policy recommendations that employers and government officials should take actions on implementing preventive strategies and administrative arrangements, such as methods to reduce interpersonal contact, repeat and routine SARS-CoV-2 employee testing, to ensure the health and safety of essential workers.”


The study also linked the inability to practice social distancing consistently at work as a “significant risk factor for anxiety and depression.” Those commuting to work by public transportation/shared rides also experienced a significant risk of depression, according to the study.


More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here