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Are U.S. Employees Still Concerned About the Risk of COVID-19 Exposure?

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COVID-19 RT-PCR Travel Testing

Many states have already returned to work after the COVID-19 pandemic while others are still working from home. However, in many states of the US, employers are also allowing people to follow a hybrid work mode where they work from home for a few days and visit the office on the other days of the week. 

While the world has somewhat adjusted to the new-normal lifestyle activities, a considerable number of employees still have moderate to serious concerns about contracting the coronavirus at work.  Many employers continue to struggle with return-to-work policies as their workers are not ready yet to return to the office. 

Statistics of Workers Being Concerned About the Novel Virus 

As per a recent report, around 33% of U.S workers are “very” or “moderately concerned”. This number is slightly lower than the 36% found in November when COVID-19 infection rates were lower but death rates were much higher. Concerns about on-the-job exposure were more prevalent in the first six months of the pandemic, in 2020 when approximately half of the workers were concerned. At the time, 23% of workers said they were “not concerned at all,” but that figure has now risen to a record-high 39% in the most recent poll, with another 28% saying they are “not too concerned.”

According to a new Eagle Hill Consulting poll, 54% of U.S. employees are concerned about COVID-19 exposure at work.

The survey, which gathered 1,000 responses from a random sample of employees, took place from April 22 to April 27, 2020.

Workers indicate that the below-mentioned factors would make them feel safe returning to work: 

  • Access to safety measures like masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer (58%)
  • Requiring sick workers to stay at home (55%)

What’s Going on in the Minds of the Employees

When asked about the outlook for COVID-19 infections this fall and winter, two-thirds of workers said infections will increase significantly (26%) or moderately (43%). A quarter believes the infection rate will remain roughly the same, while only 6% believe it will decrease.

The poll, conducted before booster shots designed to target the omicron-specific variants became available, finds that a slight majority of workers (18%) or moderately (36%), are concerned about the spread of new strains of COVID-19. Less than half are very (5%) or moderately (39%) confident that COVID-19 vaccines will protect people from newer virus variants.

Women and Democrats are the Most Concerned about the Risk of Workplace Exposure

There is almost no difference in concern about COVID-19 exposure at work between younger and older employees, but working women continue to be significantly more concerned than working men (41% vs. 26%, respectively). This reflects societal gender disparities in coronavirus concern seen throughout the pandemic.

Party affiliation is also a strong predictor of employee attitudes toward the risk of COVID-19 exposure at work. Approximately half of the Democratic workers (51%) are concerned, compared to half as many political independents (26%) and even fewer Republican workers (14%). These partisan divides have existed for the majority of the pandemic, and they remain as wide as ever.

Conclusion

If you are an employer in the US and you are trying to have your employees back at work, arrange for safety measures like masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer for everyone. Also, contact Affordable Rapid Testing for arranging mobile COVID-19 testing at your workplace. That way, both you and your employees will be safe against the Coronavirus. 

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