Background: Li Wenliang, the Chinese physician who raised the first alarm about COVID-19, died of the disease on 7 February. Since then, the pandemic has taken the lives of at least 200 other doctors and nurses (1); lower-paid health care workers filling essential roles may be similarly imperiled. In recent weeks, hospitals in some regions of the United States have been inundated with COVID-19 patients, thousands of nursing home residents have died of the disease, and many infected persons remain at home. Caregivers in these venues are at risk for exposure.
Objective: To assess the number of U.S. health care workers providing direct patient care who have risk factors for a poor outcome if they develop COVID-19 or who lack health insurance or sick leave.