TORONTO -- Research out of Norway suggests that while health-care professionals and taxi drivers were most at risk of contracting COVID-19 during the first wave, the risk in that country has now shifted to bartenders and wait staff.

The study, published last week by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, looked at the jobs of people between the ages of 20 and 70 who had contracted COVID-19 and found that physiotherapists, dentists, nurses, doctors, taxi drivers and bus drivers were infected up to three times more frequently then the rest of the working population between February and July.

Meanwhile, bartenders, waiters, flight attendants and boat stewards had the highest rates of infection between July and October.

“We see that healthcare personnel and drivers were most exposed in the first period of the epidemic in the winter and spring of 2020.,” Karin Magnusson, researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and lead author of the study, said in a news release.

“This autumn, we did not find more cases of COVID-19 among healthcare personnel than among other groups. The risk may have been higher this autumn for employees that meet many customers, such as bartenders and waiters.”

Like much of Europe, Norway went into a lockdown back in mid-March to slow down a spike in new cases and began slowly reopening the country in the late spring and summer.

In late October, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solber introduced a series of new restrictions aimed at “saving Christmas” amid a spike in new infections. These included limiting private gatherings to five guests from other households, while private outdoor gatherings were limited to 50 people.

A week later, Solber stopped short of calling for a second lockdown but urged residents to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel, both internationally and domestically.

To date, Norway has seen 30,770 cases of COVID-19, with 300 deaths.

While it makes sense that doctors may have had higher rates of infection in the spring given their potential exposure to the virus, the researchers estimate that the availability of testing equipment at the time may have played a role in these figures.

“In the first wave, there was a shortage of test equipment, and patients, risk groups and healthcare personnel were prioritised for testing,” Magnusson wrote in the report. “In the second wave, close contacts and people with mild symptoms could also be tested.”

The researchers also note that more study needs to be done to determine what other factors may be at play other than occupation when it comes to risk of infection.