SARS-CoV-2 infections amongst personnel providing home care services for older persons in Stockholm, Sweden

J Intern Med. 2021 Aug;290(2):430-436. doi: 10.1111/joim.13274. Epub 2021 Apr 12.


Background: In Sweden, home care services is a major external contact for older persons.

Methods: Five home care service companies in Stockholm, Sweden, enrolled 405 employees to a study including serum IgG to SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-2 virus in throat swabs.

Results: 20.1% (81/403) of employees were seropositive, about twice as many as in a simultaneously enrolled reference population (healthcare workers entirely without patient contact, n = 3671; 9.7% seropositivity). 13/379 employees (3.4%) had a current infection (PCR positivity). Amongst these, 5 were also seropositive and 3 were positive with low amounts of virus. High amounts of virus and no antibodies (a characteristic for presymptomatic COVID-19) were present in 5 employees (1.3%).

Conclusions: Personnel providing home services for older persons appear to be a risk group for SARS-CoV-2. Likely presymptomatic employees can be readily identified by screening. Increased protection of employees and of the older persons they serve is warranted.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; home care services for older persons.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Male
  • Pharynx / virology
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sweden / epidemiology


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • RNA, Viral