Kotsiou OS(1)(2), Pantazopoulos I(2), Papagiannis D(3), Fradelos EC(1)(3), Kanellopoulos N(2), Siachpazidou D(2), Kirgou P(2), Mouliou DS(2), Kyritsis A(2), Kalantzis G(4), Saharidis GKD(4), Tzounis E(5), Gourgoulianis KI(2). Author information:
(1)Department of Nursing, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly,
GAIOPOLIS, 41110 Larissa, Greece.
(2)Department of Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of
Thessaly, BIOPOLIS, 41110 Larissa, Greece.
(3)Public Health & Vaccines Lab, Department of Nursing, School of Health
Sciences, University of Thessaly, GAIOPOLIS, 41110 Larissa, Greece.
(4)Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Thessaly, Leoforos
Athinon, 8 Pedion Areos, 38334 Volos, Greece.
(5)Volos Health Center, Thrakon 20, 38333 Volos, Greece.
BACKGROUND: No previous study has investigated the SARS-CoV-2 prevalence and the changes in the proportion of positive results due to lockdown measures from the angle of workers' vulnerability to coronavirus in Greece. Two community-based programs were implemented to evaluate the SARS-CoV-2 prevalence and investigate if the prevalence changes were significant across various occupations before and one month after lockdown. METHODS: Following consent, sociodemographic, clinical, and job-related information were recorded. The VivaDiag™ SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test was used. Positive results confirmed by a real-time Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction for SARS-COV-2. RESULTS: Positive participants were more likely to work in the catering/food sector than negative participants before the lockdown. Lockdown restrictions halved the new cases. No significant differences in the likelihood of being SARS-CoV-2 positive for different job categories were detected during lockdown. The presence of respiratory symptoms was an independent predictor for rapid antigen test positivity; however, one-third of newly diagnosed patients were asymptomatic at both time points. CONCLUSIONS: The catering/food sector was the most vulnerable to COVID-19 at the pre-lockdown evaluation. We highlight the crucial role of community-based screening with rapid antigen testing to evaluate the potential modes of community transmission and the impact of infection control strategies.
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