Do more in-person healthcare visits increase the risk of COVID-19 infection among pregnant women?

Bottom Line:

In a group of pregnant women, those who had a higher number of in-person health care appointments did not have higher rates of COVID-19 infection.

Reference:

Reale, S. C. et al. Association Between Number of In-Person Health Care Visits and SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Obstetrical Patients. JAMA Network (2020). https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.15242

Date Published:

14 August 2020

Synopsis:

Healthcare professionals have been concerned that individuals may be afraid to go to clinics or hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic out of fear of contracting the virus. The aim of this study was therefore to determine if an increased number of in-person healthcare appointments was associated with higher rates of COVID-19 in pregnant women. The study was done with 2,968 patients who gave birth at four different hospitals in Boston, Massachusetts between April and June 2020. During this period of time, all pregnant women were being tested for COVID-19 at the time they were admitted. The number of in-person healthcare visits was also measured. 3.7% of these patients tested positive for COVID-19 at the time of admission, however no association was found with the number of in-person healthcare visits. This suggests that in-person visits to a healthcare centre do not pose a significantly increased risk of infection with COVID-19, and any necessary in-person care can be safely performed.

Summary by: Caroline Gregory