Spatial and temporal effects on SARS-CoV-2 contamination of the healthcare environment

Link to article at PubMed

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2021 Dec 27:1-16. doi: 10.1017/ice.2021.530. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The spatial and temporal extent of SARS-CoV-2 environmental contamination has not been precisely defined. We sought to elucidate contamination of different surface types and how contamination changes over time.

METHODS: We sampled surfaces longitudinally within COVID-19 patient rooms, performed quantitative RT-PCR for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA, and modeled distance, time, and severity of illness on the probability of detecting SARS-CoV-2 using a mixed-effects binomial model.

RESULTS: The probability of detecting SARS-CoV-2 RNA in a patient room did not vary with distance. However, we found that surface type predicted probability of detection, with floors and high-touch surfaces having the highest probability of detection (floors odds ratio (OR) 67.8 (95% CrI 36.3 to 131); high-touch elevated OR 7.39 (95% CrI 4.31 to 13.1)). Increased surface contamination was observed in room where patients required high-flow oxygen, positive airway pressure, or mechanical ventilation (OR 1.6 (95% CrI 1.03 to 2.53)). The probability of elevated surface contamination decayed with prolonged hospitalization, but the probability of floor detection increased with duration of the local pandemic wave.

CONCLUSIONS: Distance from patient's bed did not predict SARS-CoV-2 RNA deposition in patient rooms, but surface type, severity of illness, and time from local pandemic wave predicted surface deposition.

PMID:34955111 | DOI:10.1017/ice.2021.530

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