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Clin Infect Dis ; 73(7): e1790-e1794, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455276


BACKGROUND: Previous research has shown that rooms of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) present the potential for healthcare-associated transmission through aerosols containing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, data on the presence of these aerosols outside of patient rooms are limited. We investigated whether virus-containing aerosols were present in nursing stations and patient room hallways in a referral center with critically ill COVID-19 patients. METHODS: Eight National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health BC 251 2-stage cyclone samplers were set up throughout 6 units, including nursing stations and visitor corridors in intensive care units and general medical units, for 6 h each sampling period. Samplers were placed on tripods which held 2 samplers positioned 102 cm and 152 cm above the floor. Units were sampled for 3 days. Extracted samples underwent reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction for selected gene regions of the SARS-CoV-2 virus nucleocapsid and the housekeeping gene human RNase P as an internal control. RESULTS: The units sampled varied in the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients present on the days of sampling. Some of the units included patient rooms under negative pressure, while most were maintained at a neutral pressure. Of 528 aerosol samples collected, none were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by the estimated limit of detection of 8 viral copies/m3 of air. CONCLUSIONS: Aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 outside of patient rooms was undetectable. While healthcare personnel should avoid unmasked close contact with each other, these findings may provide reassurance for the use of alternatives to tight-fitting respirators in areas outside of patient rooms during the current pandemic.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Critical Illness , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Referral and Consultation , United States
Am J Infect Control ; 49(4): 500-502, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-932728


Given supply constraints of N95s in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare facilities have turned to extended use protocols and new sources of N95s. Because fit testing every employee for every new mask is not feasible, our Infection Prevention Department developed a method for rapid deployment of new N95s.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Health Personnel , N95 Respirators/supply & distribution , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Female , Humans , Male , United States/epidemiology