A new study from the University of California San Francisco suggests line cooks have the highest risk of mortality during the COVID pandemic — even more than healthcare workers.
For the study, which hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet, researchers analyzed California death certificates for people 18 to 65, during the first seven months of the pandemic. Then they looked at how the deaths increased in that time frame compared to pre-pandemic times.
The data includes information on individuals, including their occupation, which allowed researchers to focus on essential workers, explains sociologist Alicia Riley, who co-authored the study.
Overall, they found a 22% increase in mortality during the pandemic, with line cooks seeing a 60% increase. The top five occupations that had higher than a 50% mortality rate increase during the pandemic include cooks, line workers in warehouses, agricultural workers, bakers and construction laborers.