SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Health Care Personnel and Their Household Contacts at a Tertiary Academic Medical Center: Protocol for a Longitudinal Cohort Study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Health care personnel (HCP) are at high risk for exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. While personal protective equipment (PPE) may mitigate this risk, prospective data collection on its use and other risk factors for seroconversion in this population is needed.


The primary objectives of this study are to (1) determine the incidence of, and risk factors for, SARS-CoV-2 infection among HCP at a tertiary care medical center and (2) actively monitor PPE use, interactions between study participants via electronic sensors, secondary cases in households, and participant mental health and well-being.


To achieve these objectives, we designed a prospective, observational study of SARS-CoV-2 infection among HCP and their household contacts at an academic tertiary care medical center in North Carolina, USA. Enrolled HCP completed frequent surveys on symptoms and work activities and provided serum and nasal samples for SARS-CoV-2 testing every 2 weeks. Additionally, interactions between participants and their movement within the clinical environment were captured with a smartphone app and Bluetooth sensors. Finally, a subset of participants' households was randomly selected every 2 weeks for further investigation, and enrolled households provided serum and nasal samples via at-home collection kits.


As of December 31, 2020, 211 HCP and 53 household participants have been enrolled. Recruitment and follow-up are ongoing and expected to continue through September 2021.


Much remains to be learned regarding the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection among HCP and their household contacts. Through the use of a multifaceted prospective study design and a well-characterized cohort, we will collect critical information regarding SARS-CoV-2 transmission risks in the health care setting and its linkage to the community.

International registered report identifier (irrid)


Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ciccone, EJ; Zivich, PN; Lodge, EK; Zhu, D; Law, E; Miller, E; Taylor, JL; Chung, S; Xu, J; Volfovsky, A; Beatty, C; Abernathy, H; King, E; Garrett, HE; Markmann, AJ; Rebuli, ME; Sellers, S; Weber, DJ; Reyes, R; Alavian, N; Juliano, JJ; Boyce, RM; Aiello, AE

Published Date

  • April 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 4

Start / End Page

  • e25410 -

PubMed ID

  • 33769944

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8092024

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1929-0748

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1929-0748

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2196/25410


  • eng