Assessment of air and surfaces contamination in a COVID-19 non-Intensive Care Unit

Main Article Content

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 (SARS-CoV-2)  is a virus, primarily transmitted through  droplets, able to persist on different surfaces and in the air for several hours. During the 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.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 494 | PDF Downloads 288


Ather B, Edemekong PF: Airborne Precautions. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Feb 17
Chia PY, Coleman KK, Tan YK, et al: Detection of Air and Surface Contamination by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome 2 Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Hospital Rooms of Infected Patients. MedRxiv, 2020 April 9. Preprint doi:
Faridi S, Niazi S, Sadeghi K, et al: A field indoor air measurement of SARS-CoV-2 in the patient rooms of the largest hospital in Iran. Sci Total Environ. 2020 Apr 6;725:138401. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138401
Garzaro G, Clari M, Ciocan C, et al: COVID-19 infection and diffusion among the healthcare workforce in a large university-hospital in northwest Italy. Med Lav 2020; 111:184-194. doi: 10.23749/mdl.v111i3.9767 [accessed 2020 May 25]
Jie Wang J, Feng H, Zhang S, et al: SARS-CoV-2 RNA Detection of Hospital Isolation Wards Hygiene Monitoring During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak in a Chinese Hospital. Int J Infect Dis 2020; 94:103-106. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.04.024
Kampf G, Todt D, Pfaender S, Steinmann E: Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and its inactivation with biocidal agents. J Hospit Infect 2020 Feb 06. doi:
Liu Y, Yan LM, Wan L, et al: Viral dynamics in mild and severe cases of COVID-19. Lancet Infect Dis 2020; 20:656-657. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30232-2
Liu Y, Ning Z, Chen Y, et al: Aerodynamic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in two Wuhan hospitals. Nature, 2020 April 27.
Lu R, Zhao X, Li J, et al: Genomic characterisation and epidemiology of 2019 novel coronavirus: implications for virus origins and receptor binding. Lancet 2020; 395:565-574. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30251-8
Ong SWX, Tan YK, Chia PY, et al: Air, Surface Environmental, and Personal Protective Equipment Contamination by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) From a Symptomatic Patient. JAMA 2020; 323:1610-1612. doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.3227
Van Doremalen N, Morris D, Bushmaker T, et al: Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1. New Engl J Med 2020; 382:1564-1567. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc2004973
Watson J, Whiting PF, Brush E: Interpreting a covid-19 test result. BMJ 2020;369:m1808. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m1808.
World Health Organization. Surface sampling of coronavirus disease (‎‎‎COVID-19)‎‎‎: a practical “how to” protocol for health care and public health professionals, 2020 February 18, version 1.1. Available at
World Health Organisation. Infection prevention and control during health care when novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection is suspected. Interim Guidance. 2020 Mar 19. Available at
World Health Organisation. Modes of transmission of virus causing COVID-19: implications for IPC precaution recommendations. 2020 Mar 29. Available at
Ye G, Lin H, Chen L, et al: Environmental contamination of the SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare premises: An urgent call for protection for healthcare workers. 2020 Mar 16, medRxiv preprint doi: