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Objectives: This study aimed to describe the incidence and features of asymptomatic COVID-19 infections among HCWs at a tertiary hospital in Oman. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted between August 2020 and February 2021 among HCWs with no history of COVID-19 infection using an online questionnaire to collect sociodemographic and clinical data. COVID-19 infection was diagnosed using nasopharyngeal/throat swabs, which were tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Analyses were performed using Chi-squared test, Fisher’s exact test, or univariate ordinary least squares regression, as appropriate. Results: A total of 583 HCWs participated in the study. Most were female (56.6%) and the mean age was 35 ± 8 years . Only 9.6% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 7.3–12.3%) of the HCWs were at high exposure risk as they were directly involved in the care of COVID-19-infected patients. Overall, 4.1% (95% CI: 2.7–6.1%) of the HCWs screened positive for SARS-CoV-2; of these, five (20.8%) developed symptoms within two weeks. The frequency of SARS-CoV-2 positivity among HCWs working in high, intermediate, low, and miscellaneous risk areas was 1.8% (95% CI: <0.1–9.6%), 2.6% (95% CI: <0.1–6.5%), 5.3% (95% CI: 0.3–9.3%), and 4.8% (95% CI: <0.1–69.3%), respectively. Working in high-risk areas was associated with increased compliance with various infection control strategies (P <0.001). Conclusion: There was a greater frequency of SARS-CoV-2 positivity among HCWs working in lower-risk areas, whereas HCWs who worked in high-risk areas were significantly more likely to report increased compliance with infection control strategies.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing; Asymptomatic Infections; Health Personnel; Occupational Exposure; Infection Control; Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction; Oman.

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Al Shibli, A., Al Jufaili, M., Al Alawi, A., Balkhair, A., Al Zakwani, I., Al Azri, F., Al Maamari, K., Ba Alawi, F., Al Qayoudhi, A., & Al Ghafri, H. (2023). Identification of Asymptomatic Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Infections among Healthcare Workers at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, 23(3), 336–343.

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