SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence Among Firefighters in Los Angeles, California


We estimate the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among a sample of firefighters in the Los Angeles (LA), California fire department in October 2020 and compare demographic and contextual factors for seropositivity.


We conducted a serological survey of firefighters in LA, California, USA, in October 2020. Individuals were classified as seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 if they tested positive for IgG, IgM or both. We compared demographic and contextual factors for seropositivity.


All firefighters in LA, California, USA were invited to participate in our study, but only roughly 21% participated. Of 713 participants with valid serological data, 8.8% tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, and among the 686 with complete survey data 8.9% tested positive for antibodies. Seropositivity was not associated with gender, age or race/ethnicity. Seropositivity was highest among firefighters who reported working in the vicinity of LA International Airport, which had a known outbreak in July 2020.


Seroprevalence among firefighters in our sample was 8.8%, however, we lack a full workplace seroprevalence estimate to compare the relative magnitude against general population seroprevalence (15%). Workplace safety protocols, such as access to personal protective equipment and testing, can mitigate increased risk of infection at work, and may have eliminated differences in disease burden by geography and race/ethnicity in our sample.

The full study is available in BMJ Journals.