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CDC report looks at COVID-19 deaths by industry and job

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Hyattsville, MD — Workers in protective services had the highest rate of COVID-19 deaths in 2020, according to a recently published report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Using mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System, CDC researchers identified the jobs and industries with the highest COVID-19 death rates in 46 states and New York City. They note that the U.S. Standard Certificate of Death “records usual occupation and industry, or the occupation and industry in which the decedent spent most of their working life.” 

Protective services jobs – which include police and correctional officers, as well as security guards – had the highest rate of COVID-19 deaths among occupation groups, at 60.3 per 100,000 workers. Food preparation and service workers had the next highest rate, at 57.5, followed by workers in construction and extraction (57.3) and transportation and material moving (56). 

When sorted by industry group, accommodation and food service had the highest rate of COVID-19 deaths, at 55 per 100,000 workers, followed by transportation and warehousing (49.6).

The researchers say the report highlights health equity issues for COVID-19 transmission and deaths.

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