We conducted two-year seroprevalence surveys of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies among outpatients and healthcare workers (HCWs) at Ehime University Hospital. Data were collected for outpatients and HCWs in June 2020 (1st survey), December 2020 (2nd survey), July 2021 (3rd survey), and December 2021 (4th survey), focusing on demographics, occupation, and the seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Blood samples were obtained from randomly selected outpatients who visited our hospital for medical care and HCWs undergoing regular medical checks with opt-out informed consent. SARS-CoV-2 antibody positivity was evaluated using two laboratory-based quantitative tests. The total number of participants enrolled was 6,369 (1st survey: 1,000 outpatients and 743 HCWs, 2nd survey: 1,000 outpatients and 407 HCWs, 3rd survey: 1,000 outpatients and 804 HCWs, 4th survey: 1,000 outpatients and 415 HCWs). The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among outpatients and HCWs was 0-0.1% and 0-0.124% during the research period, respectively, and changed little over time. These findings suggest that the magnitude of COVID-19 infection during the pandemic among outpatients and HCWs in this rural hospital might have been small.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; antibody; healthcare worker; outpatient; seroprevalence.