Aerosol and environmental surface monitoring for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in a designated hospital for severe COVID-19 patients.Epidemiol Infect. 2020 07 14; 148:e154.EI
There is limited information concerning the viral load of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in aerosols deposited on environmental surfaces and the effectiveness of infection prevention and control procedures on eliminating SARS-CoV-2 contamination in hospital settings. We examined the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 in aerosol samples and on environmental surfaces in a hospital designated for treating severe COVID-19 patients. Aerosol samples were collected by a microbial air sampler, and environmental surfaces were sampled using sterile premoistened swabs at multiple sites. Ninety surface swabs and 135 aerosol samples were collected. Only two swabs, sampled from the inside of a patient's mask, were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. All other swabs and aerosol samples were negative for the virus. Our study indicated that strict implementation of infection prevention and control procedures was highly effective in eliminating aerosol and environmental borne SARS-CoV-2 RNA thereby reducing the risk of cross-infection in hospitals.