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Prevalence and Clinical Profile of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Infection among Farmworkers, California, USA, June-November 2020.


During the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, farmworkers in the United States are considered essential personnel and continue in-person work. We conducted prospective surveillance for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and antibody prevalence among farmworkers in Salinas Valley, California, during June 15-November 30, 2020. We observed 22.1% (1,514/6,864) positivity for SARS-CoV-2 infection among farmworkers compared with 17.2% (1,255/7,305) among other adults from the same communities (risk ratio 1.29, 95% CI 1.20-1.37). In a nested study enrolling 1,115 farmworkers, prevalence of current infection was 27.7% among farmworkers reporting >1 COVID-19 symptom and 7.2% among farmworkers without symptoms (adjusted odds ratio 4.16, 95% CI 2.85-6.06). Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies increased from 10.5% (95% CI 6.0%-18.4%) during July 16-August 31 to 21.2% (95% CI 16.6%-27.4%) during November 1-30. High SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence among farmworkers underscores the need for vaccination and other preventive interventions.

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