Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Among Firefighters/Paramedics in San Francisco, CA

J Occup Environ Med. 2021 Nov 1;63(11):e807-e812. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002383.


Objectives: Despite having close contact with the general public, members of the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) reported relatively few cases of COVID-19 during the first half of 2020. Our objective was to explore evidence for prior undetected infections by conducting a seroprevalence survey, and to document both risk and protective factors for prior COVID-19 infection.

Methods: This cross-sectional study assessed workplace practices and exposures of SFFD personnel during the first 6 months of 2020 via questionnaire and documented prior COVID-19 infections by serologic antibody testing using an orthogonal testing protocol.

Results: Of 1231 participating emergency responders, three (0.25%) had confirmed positive COVID-19 antibody results.

Conclusions: Safe workplace practices, community public health intervention, and low community infection rates appear to have been protective factors for emergency responders in San Francisco during our study period.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allied Health Personnel
  • COVID-19*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Firefighters*
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • San Francisco / epidemiology
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies