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Research on the Epidemiology of COVID-19 in Emergency Response and Healthcare Personnel (RECOVER) Study

A CDC-funded joint research project between Abt Associates and
The Fire Fighter Cancer Cohort Study  

Page created: Monday, May 18, 2020 | Last Updated: Wednesday, November 9, 2020 

Overview of the RECOVER Study:

Launched May 8, 2020, the Research on the Epidemiology of COVID-19 in Emergency Response and Healthcare Personnel Study, or RECOVER for short, was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through a partnership with Abt Associates and various U.S. healthcare systems and academic institutions such as the University of Arizona and the University of Miami. The primary goal of this project is to build on the existing national Fire Fighter Cancer Cohort Study efforts and the FFCCS research infrastructure to study COVID-19 specifically among U.S. first responders. The research objectives of the RECOVER study are to: 1) Determine the frequency of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection and COVID-19 illness among healthcare personnel (HCPs) and first responders (FP); and 2) Describe SARS-CoV-2 reinfections among HCP/FR who are seropositive to SARS-CoV-2 and/or documented prior PCR-confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

COVID-19 and Emergency Response Personnel

Many questions about COVID-19 urgently need to be answered, including infection and re-infection rates, illness characterization, risk and protective factors, differences between symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, and efficacy of interventions and vaccination when they become available. In the midst of the global public health emergency brought about by a new coronavirus, tools and infrastructure available to fill these critical gaps in knowledge and practice must be developed and implemented as quickly as possible. Healthcare personnel (HCP) and first responders (FR) are among those with the highest risk for COVID-19. Characterization of the risk factors and infection features in these populations will help inform our understanding of this infection and may help us protect them and their patients as they respond to the pandemic.

Project Overarching Goal:

The primary goal of this project is to build on the existing national Fire Fighter Cancer Cohort Study efforts and the FFCCS research infrastructure to study COVID-19 specifically among U.S. first responders.

Project Timeline:

The RECOVER study will take place over a 12-month project period, of which first responders will be asked to engage with the research project and the study team for a total of 9 months through a series of periodic surveys and biological sample collections. Recruitment is anticipated to start in June 2020. We anticipate enrolling 400 U.S. firefighters into the study.

Project Flyer:

The IRB approved study flyer can be downloaded below.

Download

Anticipated Project Impact:

RECOVER should help measure COVID-19 incidence, identify risk factors for infection and manifestation as symptomatic or asymptomatic, describe symptomology and outcomes of infection and re-infection, medical-attendance, immune response, examine antibody correlates of protection against SARS-CoV-2 re-infection, duration of viral shedding, and assess knowledge, attitudes and practices related to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.

Enrolled Participant Instructional Video(s):

The University of Arizona and the University of Miami have developed brief instruction videos to orient study participants on the contents of their COVID-19 testing kits, as well as reminder videos for regular COVID-19 surveillance and illness swabs. Videos are accessible by clicking on the below links: ​

RECOVER Study Team:

Dr. Jeff Burgess

University of Arizona
Project Co-PI / Director

Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez

University of Miami
Project Co-PI / Co-Director

University of Arizona

Research Specialist / Project Co-Leader

Paola Louzado Feliciano

University of Miami
Research Associate / Project Co-Leader

Dawn Thomas

University of Miami
Research Associate
Field Operations / Logistics

Katerina Santiago

University of Miami
Central IRB Analyst /
Regulatory Affairs

Dr. Jin Zhou

University of Arizona
Biostatistician

Sally Littau

University of Arizona
Biomarker Lab Coordinator

Fernanda Garavito

University of Arizona
Research Specialist

Michael Martell

University of Arizona
Programmer

Project Contact:

Questions regarding overall project logistics should be directed to Shawn Beitel, the RECOVER-FFCCS Project Co-leader at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., while questions specific to fire department/firefighter recruitment, onboarding, and troubleshooting REDCap should be directed to Paola Louzado Feliciano, the RECOVER-FFCCS Project Co-leader at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Policies and Disclaimers: The content of the National Fire Fighter Cancer Cohort Study, (FFCCS) and of the RECOVER Project expresses the opinions of its authors and does not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or of Abt Associates.