Healthcare providers are one of the most at-risk populations for contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus. However, a 2020 study of healthcare workers found that acquired immunity from an initial COVID-19 infection offers protection against reinfection for at least six months or asymptomatic infection in the rare instances where someone subsequently tested positive within six months of acquiring immunity.

David Eyre, PhD, associate professor at the University of Oxford in England, led the study, in which researchers followed more than 12,000 healthcare workers at Oxford University Hospitals from April—November 2020.

“While the new findings on reinfection come as good news to be sure, it’s important to remember that the vast majority of the 328 million Americans still remain susceptible to this life-threatening virus,” Francis Collins, MD, PhD, NIH director, said. “We must all continue to do absolutely everything we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities from COVID-19.”

Nurses have the authority, trust, and recognition to make a real difference in how people perceive and behave during the pandemic. Use that position and help flatten the curve by advising recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.