FACT CHECK: Have Fewer Than 5,000 Doctors And Nurses Tested Positive For COVID-19 In The US?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A viral Facebook post claims fewer than 5,000 doctors and nurses have tested positive for COVID-19 in the U.S.

Verdict: False

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that at least 67,100 health care workers in the U.S. have tested positive for the new coronavirus, as of press time.

Fact Check: 

The viral post, shared more than 9,600 times since being posted on May 6, claims fewer than 5,000 doctors and nurses have tested positive for COVID-19. However, that figure was not accurate when it was posted, nor is it accurate now.

More than 9,200 health care workers had tested positive by April 9, almost a month before the claim was made, according to an April 17 report from the CDC. That figure  “must be considered a lower bound because additional cases likely have gone unidentified or unreported,” according to the report.

More recent data from the CDC indicates that there have been at least 67,100 cases of COVID-19 among health care personnel. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show California Department Of Social Services Letter About Coronavirus Testing)

Despite the number of health care worker cases being incorrect, the Facebook post uses the figure to compare to those among workers at meat processing facilities, with the caption reading, “Don’t you find it quite interesting, that 5,000 meat packers tested positive! However, not 5,000 nurses & doctors!”

That 5,000-figure for workers at meat processing facilities likely comes from a report the CDC put out in early May. It found over 4,900 cases of COVID-19 among U.S. workers in 115 meat and poultry processing facilities in 19 states.

The new coronavirus has sickened over 1.8 million people and killed some 106,000 others in the U.S. to date, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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