A nursing home worker was kicked and spat on by a teenager who shouted at her: “You’ve got corona.”
The woman was hit on the head and knocked to the ground before being kicked repeatedly and spat on during what police called a “despicable” attack in Poole, Dorset.
She believes she was attacked because she was dressed for work in her uniform.
It is the latest in a series of attacks against health workers linked to COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.
At the weekend, England’s top nurse called attackers “idiots” after a hospital staff member was punched in the face in Salford, Greater Manchester.
In the latest incident, the nursing home worker was assaulted as she walked home in the Canford Heath area of Poole on 27 March.
She was walking through the Sherborn open space after using the Verity Crescent entrance at about 1pm when she was approached by two teenagers on bikes.
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She was knocked to the ground after being hit on the head by something, believed to be a bag, said Dorset Police.
One of the teenagers kicked her in the back a number of times and spat in her face before he said to her, “You have got corona”, as the other teenager told him to stop, police said.
The teenager who attacked the woman is described as aged between 16 and 18, with pale skin and possibly light brown hair.
He was wearing a grey tracksuit, with the hood up, and had a blue bag. He was riding a blue bike.
Police community support investigator Chris Hardy said: “This was a truly despicable assault and the victim believes she was targeted because she was dressed for her work at a nursing home.
“We are committed to supporting those who are helping our communities at this difficult time.
“We are determined to identify those involved and are carrying out a detailed investigation into the incident.
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“I am appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who may have any information about the identity of the offender, to please contact police.”
Anyone with information should contact Dorset Police or call 101, quoting occurrence number 55200045377. Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.