Majority of people with COVID-19 going to work, survey finds

Majority of people with COVID-19 going to work, survey finds

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County health officials say a major reason they’re seeing more COVID-19 cases stems from infected people going to work and continuing to socialize with family and friends.

In a survey with more than 300 people who’ve been infected, 53 percent admitted to going to work during their infectious period, when they could pass the virus to others.

“When we see people with mild symptoms, they have a new onset cough or feel fatigued or feel a little bit off,” said David Sweat with the Shelby County Health Department. “They do what we typically do in America. They just kind of push through and still go to work.”

But Sweat says going to work is the last thing anyone should do if experiencing any kind of symptoms of COVID-19.

He says while people are practicing some safety measures at work, like wearing a mask when interacting with customers, some people don’t stay guarded all day.

“They become lax when they’re in interaction with their co-workers. They take their masks off in the office. They take their mask off in a breakroom setting, and then the transmission occurs peer to peer, sideways, inside an organization,” said Sweat.

The survey also found 27 percent of people with COVID-19 admitted to going to a social activity when they were infectious.

Health officials say if you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and isolate until you get your results back.

“Take that precaution because it may be protecting the people that you live with, the people that you work with, the people that you love,” said Sweat.

As cases rise, it’s advice they hope more people with follow.

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