UVM study: Job exposure, behavior affect coronavirus transmission

Published: Jul. 20, 2020 at 5:50 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2020 at 8:43 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A University of Vermont study finds some possible factors that could increase your likelihood of getting exposed to COVID-19.

The findings are part of an ongoing study we've been following. It combined a survey with PCR and antibody testing to see how people in Chittenden County worked, lived and behaved, and whether they got the virus.

They found more cases in suburban areas but they aren’t sure what significance that has yet. Job exposure was a big predictor of infection. Researchers told us people still working onsite, like essential workers, had a significantly higher positive rate than those working from home.

Not surprisingly, people who heeded the stay home, stay safe measures were also less likely to get ill.

Eline van den Broek-Altenburg, a UVM assistant professor and health economist: If they believed that was effective, that translated naturally to less contacts after the stay-at-home order and also was a predictor of less infection and were negative for test results.

Reporter Cat Viglienzoni: So people who were more likely to follow the rules were less likely to get sick?

Eline van den Broek-Altenburg: Which makes a lot of sense, but it's kind of nice to confirm that with our data.

The team hopes they can follow up on this study more but they say they’ll need financial assistance to do future iterations of the research.

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