An unusual study of the COVID pandemic’s impact on the work and personal lives of an often-overlooked group of health care workers has yielded lessons about the stresses that drive them out of the workforce, their attitudes toward vaccination and testing, and the benefits of their connections with patients. Supportive health care workers — nursing care assistants, home health aides, food-service workers, custodians and housekeepers employed by hospitals and health care agencies — are primarily Black and Latino, and usually women. During the pandemic, they faced heightened risks of exposure to COVID both on the job and in their home communities, a new Rutgers study has found. They grappled with the deaths of patients, co-workers, family members and friends. They encountered inconsistent testing policies and practices on their jobs. And they feared the loss of their jobs or income if they tested positive for COVID. To read the full story.