COVID-19 outbreak incidence, mortality rates higher in public transportation industries in California: report

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- COVID-19 outbreak incidence and mortality rates are higher in public transportation industries in California, the most populous state in the United States, compared with all industries combined, said a new report released on Thursday.

Overall, 340 confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks, 5,641 outbreak-associated cases, and 537 COVID-19-associated deaths were identified among California public transportation industries from January 2020 to May 2022, according to the report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report showed that the cumulative outbreak incidence for all public transportation industries (35.3 outbreaks per 1,000 establishments) was 1.4 times as high as that for all industries in the state from Jan. 1, 2020 through May 26, 2022.

Among individual public transportation industries, cumulative outbreak incidence was 5.2 times as high in bus and urban transit and 3.6 times as high in air transportation as in all industries.

In addition, the report found the cumulative crude mortality rate for all public transportation industries was 174 per 100,000 workers, 1.5 times as high as the rate across all industries in the state. Cumulative crude mortality rates among workers in transportation support services, rail transportation, and bus service and urban transit were approximately twice those across all industries.

The report noted that workers in public transportation industries are at higher risk for COVID-19 workplace outbreaks and mortality than the general worker population in California and should be prioritized for COVID-19 prevention strategies, including vaccination and enhanced workplace protection measures.

California, once an epicenter of the pandemic in the country, hit another grim milestone in the pandemic as the state, home to around 40 million residents, officially reached 10 million confirmed cases earlier this month.

The state reported a total of 10,146,137 coronavirus infections to date, along with 93,517 related deaths as of Tuesday, the California Department of Public Health said in its latest COVID-19 facts update.

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