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.
© 2021 The Association for the Publication of the Journal of Internal Medicine.