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Viruses ; 13(12)2021 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542793


Evidence varies as to how far aerosols spread from individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 in hospital rooms. We investigated the presence of aerosols containing SARS-CoV-2 inside of dedicated COVID-19 patient rooms. Three National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health BC 251 two-stage cyclone samplers were set up in each patient room for a six-hour sampling period. Samplers were place on tripods, which each held two samplers at various heights above the floor. Extracted samples underwent reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction for selected gene regions of the SARS-CoV-2 virus nucleocapsid. Patient medical data were compared between participants in rooms where virus-containing aerosols were detected and those where they were not. Of 576 aerosols samples collected from 19 different rooms across 32 participants, 3% (19) were positive for SARS-CoV-2, the majority from near the head and foot of the bed. Seven of the positive samples were collected inside a single patient room. No significant differences in participant clinical characteristics were found between patients in rooms with positive and negative aerosol samples. SARS-CoV-2 viral aerosols were detected from the patient rooms of nine participants (28%). These findings provide reassurance that personal protective equipment that was recommended for this virus is appropriate given its spread in hospital rooms.

COVID-19/virology , Patients' Rooms , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Hospitals , Humans , Middle Aged , Patients' Rooms/statistics & numerical data , Phosphoproteins/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
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 ; 48(12): 1540-1542, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-693247


Bioaerosol samples were collected in an airborne infection isolation room, bathroom, and anteroom of a ventilated patient with coronavirus disease 2019. Twenty-eight samples were negative for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleic acid, possibly due to the patient being on a closed-circuit ventilator or the efficiency of the air exchanges in the room.

COVID-19/transmission , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilators, Mechanical/virology , Aerosols , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Patient Positioning , Patients' Rooms , Prone Position , Respiration, Artificial