Experts have claimed that grocery store workers who have been interacting with the customers are at a higher risk of contracting COVID19. A study has shown that nearly 20 percent of 104 grocery store workers have been tested positive for the disease in Boston. Scientists have said that these workers have become a major source of transmission of the virus unknowingly as most of them have been asymptomatic. This study has been published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine. This is the first report that has shown the rate of asymptomatic infection and exposure risk. Experts have managed to reveal the levels of psychological stress grocery workers have gone through during the pandemic.
Experts have said that the rate of infection among these workers have been slightly higher as compared to other close communities. The study has noted that employees who have been dealing with customers directly have been at five times higher risk of being diagnosed with the disease as compared to other workers in different positions at the store. Three out of four workers who have been tested positive for the disease have shown no symptoms at all. Experts have been shocked to see the number of infected workers with no symptoms. They have said this is an alarming situation, where grocery store workers are in close contact with customers and they might be acting as a super spreader of the virus. Around 91 percent of the workers have said that they have been wearing masks at work and 77 percent of them have said that they have been wearing masks outside as well. Nearly 66 percent of grocery workers have claimed they have been following social distancing religiously on the job.
Around a quarter of people who are into customer service jobs have claimed that they have been dealing with stress and anxiety as compared to 8 percent of people who do not need to interact with customers. The study has found that workers who commute to the office by bike have been at a lower risk of developing stress and anxiety as compared to those who have been traveling by public transports. Experts have said that social distancing affects people physically and emotionally as well. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) has found that nearly 108 workers have died due to COVID19 during the pandemic. While around 16300 workers have been diagnosed with the disease. The study has clearly mentioned that the rate of infection among grocery workers has been quite high.