Bloomberg Law
Nov. 3, 2021, 4:33 PM

Covid Triggers Giant Spike in Worker Respiratory Illness Reports

Bruce Rolfsen
Bruce Rolfsen

Covid-19 cases contributed to a nearly 3,900% increase in the number of respiratory illness reported by private-industry employers in 2020, according to a report Wednesday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employers reported 428,700 respiratory illness cases, with 390,000 attributed to “Covid-19 or other virus-related diseases,” said the bureau, part of the U.S. Department of Labor. There were 10,800 cases in 2019 for all types of respiratory illnesses.

The report is the first time the bureau has offered 2020 data on the occupational illness impact of the coronavirus. Even before the pandemic, many occupational health interest groups faulted the bureau’s ...