Are there recommended work restrictions for pregnant healthcare personnel (HCP) during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is somewhat equivocal on the issue, essentially saying no heightened risk has been clearly established, but the known risk from similar viruses and influenza warrants caution.1
“Information on COVID-19 in pregnancy is very limited,” the CDC stated. “Facilities may want to consider limiting exposure of pregnant HCP to patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, especially during higher-risk procedures (e.g., aerosol-generating procedures) if feasible based on staffing availability.”
That said, pregnant women are currently not considered at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
“However, pregnant women have had a higher risk of severe illness when infected with viruses from the same family as COVID-19 and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza,” the CDC stated.
Thus, pregnancy is a gray area, with the COVID-19 risk to expectant mothers not as clearly established as it is to those age 65 years and older, and those of any age with underlying health conditions such as heart and lung disease or diabetes.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Clinical questions about COVID-19: Questions and answers. April 16, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/faq.html