Nearly a third of all workers infected with covid-19 suffered or are suffering from “long covid”, according to the New York State Insurance Fund.
NYSIF said its analysis of Covid-19 claims submitted between January 2020 and March 2022 found that 977 of 3,139 claimants had lingering symptoms. NYSIF also said about 18% of workers with long-term covid — about 5% of those who claim covid-19 — were unable to return to work for more than a year.
Almost all claimants with comorbidities or who were hospitalized for an initial infection experienced prolonged covid.
NYSIF also said about 40% of workers with prolonged covid returned to work within 60 days of infection while still receiving treatment.
“If widely reflected, these findings begin to fill information gaps about the labor market, including an underestimated cause of the many unfilled jobs and the declining share of the labor force since the pandemic emergency,”; the report said.
NYSIF also said different trends in COVID claims filed by essential workers could be a “blind spot” for policymakers.
More than 83% of the COVID-19 claims submitted to NYSIF were from essential workers in health care, law enforcement, or consumer care, but only 29% of essential workers had long-term covid, compared to 44% of other workers.
NYSIF said it’s not clear when the rate of long-term Covid claims is lower among essential workers.
“This may be because essential workers may not have been able to stay home from work after the required quarantine period,” the report said. “Another possibility could be that nurses and doctors self-treated their symptoms. If so, long-term covid rates, especially for hospital workers, could appear lower than they are.”
WorkCompCentral is a sister magazine to Business Insurance. More stories here.