UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


A Physician's Guide for Workers' Return to Work during COVID-19 Pandemic

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Health Services Administration | Infectious Disease | Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene | Virus Diseases


OBJECTIVE: Higher risk for developing severe forms of COVID-19 has been associated with health risk factors and medical conditions which are common among workers globally. For at risk workers, return to work may pose unique risks which require protective policies and procedures.

METHODS: A review of the medical literature was conducted on health risk factors and medical conditions associated with increased COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.

RESULTS: The relative risk of acquiring and the severity of COVID-19 for workers is associated with three pillars: individual risk, workplace risk, and community risk. Matrices were developed to determine a worker's individual risk.

CONCLUSIONS: A practical tool was developed for physicians managing COVID-19 relative risk in workers.


COVID-19, workers, return to work

DOI of Published Version



Baptista MC, Burton WN, Pawlecki B, Pransky G. A Physician's Guide for Workers' Return to Work during COVID-19 Pandemic. J Occup Environ Med. 2020 Dec 21;Publish Ahead of Print. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002118. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33350662. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of occupational and environmental medicine

PubMed ID