Identifying the Risk of SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Environmental Monitoring in Airborne Infectious Isolation Rooms (AIIRs).Virol Sin. 2020 Dec; 35(6):785-792.VS
Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at high risk of occupational exposure to the new pandemic human coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and are a source of nosocomial transmission in airborne infectious isolation rooms (AIIRs). Here, we performed comprehensive environmental contamination surveillance to evaluate the risk of viral transmission in AIIRs with 115 rooms in three buildings at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Shanghai, during the treatment of 334 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. The results showed that the risk of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in AIIRs was low (1.62%, 25/1544) due to the directional airflow and strong environmental hygiene procedures. However, we detected viral RNA on the surface of foot-operated openers and bathroom sinks in AIIRs (viral load: 55.00-3154.50 copies/mL). This might be a source of contamination to connecting corridors and object surfaces through the footwear and gloves used by HCWs. The risk of infection was eliminated by the use of disposable footwear covers and the application of more effective environmental and personal hygiene measures. With the help of effective infection control procedures, none of 290 HCWs was infected when working in the AIIRs at this hospital. This study has provided information pertinent for infection control in AIIRs during the treatment of COVID-19 patients.