Contamination of SARS-CoV-2 in patient surroundings and on personal protective equipment in a non-ICU isolation ward for COVID-19 patients with prolonged PCR positive status
Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control
Objectives We performed an environmental sampling study to investigate the environmental contamination of SARS-CoV-2 by COVID-19 patients with prolonged PCR positive status of clinical samples. Methods We sampled the air from rooms for nine COVID-19 patients with illness or positive PCR > 30 days, before and after nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swabbing and before and after nebulization treatment. We also sampled patients' surroundings and healthcare workers' personal protection equipment (PPE)
... n equipment (PPE) in a non-ICU ward. SARS-CoV-2 was detected by PCR. Results Eighty-eight samples were collected from high-touch surfaces and floors in patient rooms and toilets, with only the bedsheets of two patients and one toilet positive for SARS-CoV-2. All air samples (n = 34) were negative for SARS-CoV-2. Fifty-five samples collected from PPE were all negative. Conclusion Contamination of near-patient surroundings was uncommon for COVID-19 patients with prolonged PCR positive status if environmental cleaning/disinfection were performed rigorously. Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was unlikely in these non-ICU settings.