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Abstract

Background

SARS-CoV-2 infections in preschool and school settings potentially bear occupational risks to educational staff.

Aim

We aimed to assess the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in teachers and preschool educators and at identifying factors associated with infection.

Methods

We analysed cross-sectional data derived from 17,448 voluntary, PCR-based screening tests of asymptomatic educational staff in Berlin, Germany, between June and December 2020 using descriptive statistics and a logistic regression model.

Results

Participants were largely female (73.0%), and median age was 41 years (range: 18-78). Overall, SARS-CoV-2 infection proportion was 1.2% (95% CI: 1.0–1.4). Proportion of positive tests in educational staff largely followed community incidence until the start of the second pandemic wave, when an unsteady plateau was reached. Then, the proportion of positive tests in a (concurrent) population survey was 0.9% (95% CI: 0.6–1.4), 1.2% (95% CI: 0.8–1.8) in teachers and 2.6% (95% CI: 1.6–4.0) in preschool educators. Compared with teachers, increased odds of infection were conferred by being a preschool educator (adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.6; 95% CI: 1.3–2.0) and by contact with a SARS-CoV-2 infected individual outside of work (aOR: 3.0; 95% CI: 1.5–5.5). In a step-wise backward selection, the best set of associated factors with SARS-CoV-2 infection involved age, occupation, and calendar week.

Conclusions

These results indicate that preschool educators bear increased odds of SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with teachers. At the same time, the private environment appeared to be a relevant source of SARS-CoV-2 infection for educational staff in 2020.

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/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2022.27.11.2100524
2022-03-17
2022-05-23
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2022.27.11.2100524
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