Law enforcement, firefighters had job with highest COVID death rates in 2020: CDC


Police, firefighters and other protective service employees had the occupation with the highest death rates from COVID-19 in 2020, new federal data shows.

The reportreleased Friday by the National Center for Health Statistics – a branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, examined COVID mortality in the first year of the pandemic in 46 states and New York by occupation.

The authors only looked at Americans between the ages of 15 and 64 who were part of the paid civilian workforce, meaning those who worked unpaid jobs or served in the military were not included in the analysis.

The results showed that those in protective service positions – including police, firefighters, fire inspectors, corrections officers, private investigators, security guards and probation officers – had the highest rate. higher with 60.3 deaths per 100,000 workers.

According to federal data, that’s twice as high as the overall worker death rate from COVID-19 in 2020, which stands at 28.6 per 100,000.

This was followed by food preparation and serving staff with 57.5 deaths per 100,000; construction and mining workers at 57.3 per 100,000; transportation and material moving employees at 56 per 100,000; and workers in agriculture, fishing and forestry at 54.8 per 100,000.

By comparison, Americans working in jobs where they were surrounded by the sickest COVID-19 patients had lower death rates in 2020, the data shows.

Health care support workers – who help doctors and nurses care for patients, perform tests or manage equipment, among other tasks – had a rate of 31.2 per 100,000.

Meanwhile, health practitioners had a rate of 19.1, lower than the national average.

The study did not examine why certain professions were at greater risk of dying than others.

However, the authors noted that many workers with high COVID-19-related death rates were “often required to work in person throughout stay-at-home orders in 2020.”

Additionally, these employees were more likely to work in close proximity to others, both co-workers and the public, which increased their risk of infection.

A report of the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum, which found COVID-19 the leading cause of officer deaths in 2020 and 2021, said it was direct exposure in the line of duty .

“It has been reported to the NLEOMF that these officers died as a result of direct exposure to the virus while performing their official duties,” the report said.

Of those who died 48 years ago Cedric Dixonthe first uniformed member of the New York Police Department to succumb to COVID-19 in March 2020.

Dixon served the city for 23 years, according to the Detectives’ Endowment Association.

“We are hurting, we are crying and we are still fighting,” Commissioner Dermot Shea said at the time. “He was known as the person who would do anything to help you. We will miss him so much.”

COVID-19 vaccines were not available until late December 2020, and they have since been shown to be protective against serious illness and death.

However, many police and firefighters and unions across the country pushed back on vaccination mandates, with several being fired for refusing to comply.

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