Air and surfaces contamination in a COVID-19 non-Intensive Care Unit: an empirical trial to verify the efficiency of sanitization procedures.

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Michael Declementi
Alessandro Godono
Ihab Mansour
Nicolò Milanesio
Giacomo Garzaro
Marco Clari
Luca Fedele
Valter Passini
Carmela Bongiorno
Enrico Pira


contamination, environmental sampling, industrial hygiene, SARS-CoV-2, sanitization, ventilation system



BACKGROUND: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - Coronavirus – 2 is a virus, primarily transmitted through  droplets, able to persist on different surfaces and in the air for several hours. During COVID-19 pandemic, Health Care Workers should be considered a high risk profession. Beside social distancing rules and the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment,  sanitization measures and ventilation system disinfection are essential to reduce viral transmission.

OBJECTIVES: This is the first Italian study aiming to assess the magnitude of environmental contamination in a COVID-19 non-Intensive Care Unit.

METHODS: In addition to ordinary cleaning procedures, surface and air samplings have been performed before and after the application of two different sanitization devices.  Samples have been analyzed with Real Time- Polymerase Chain Reaction in order to find viral RNA.

RESULTS: All samples obtained from surfaces and air before and after extra-ordinary sanitization procedures turned out negative for viral detection.

DISCUSSION: These findings highlight the efficiency of ordinary cleaning procedures in guaranteeing a safer workplace. The adoption of additional sanitization protocols should be considered in order to further reduce environmental viral contamination.


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