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

Keywords

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

Abstract

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.

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