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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(2): 339-342, 2022 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1722257

ABSTRACT

We report 2 episodes of potential SARS-CoV-2 transmission from infected van drivers to passengers despite masking and physical distancing. Whole-genome sequencing confirmed relatedness of driver and passenger SARS-CoV-2. With the heater operating, fluorescent microspheres were transported by airflow >3 meters from the front to the back of the van.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Physical Distancing , Whole Genome Sequencing
2.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-7, 2022 Feb 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1721301

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To investigate a cluster of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections in employees working on 1 floor of a hospital administration building. METHODS: Contact tracing was performed to identify potential exposures and all employees were tested for SARS-CoV-2. Whole-genome sequencing was performed to determine the relatedness of SARS-CoV-2 samples from infected personnel and from control cases in the healthcare system with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during the same period. Carbon dioxide levels were measured during a workday to assess adequacy of ventilation; readings >800 parts per million (ppm) were considered an indication of suboptimal ventilation. To assess the potential for airborne transmission, DNA-barcoded aerosols were released, and real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to quantify particles recovered from air samples in multiple locations. RESULTS: Between December 22, 2020, and January 8, 2021, 17 coworkers tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, including 13 symptomatic and 4 asymptomatic individuals. Of the 5 cluster SARS-CoV-2 samples sequenced, 3 were genetically related, but these employees denied higher-risk contacts with one another. None of the sequences from the cluster were genetically related to the 17 control sequences of SARS-CoV-2. Carbon dioxide levels increased during a workday but never exceeded 800 ppm. DNA-barcoded aerosol particles were dispersed from the sites of release to locations throughout the floor; 20% of air samples had >1 log10 particles. CONCLUSIONS: In a hospital administration building outbreak, sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 confirmed transmission among coworkers. Transmission occurred despite the absence of higher-risk exposures and in a setting with adequate ventilation based on monitoring of carbon dioxide levels.

4.
Pathog Immun ; 5(1): 133-142, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389905

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Contaminated surfaces are a potential source for spread of respiratory viruses including SARS-CoV-2. Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light is effective against RNA and DNA viruses and could be useful for decontamination of high-touch fomites that are shared by multiple users. METHODS: A modification of the American Society for Testing and Materials standard quantitative carrier disk test method (ASTM E-2197-11) was used to examine the effectiveness of UV-C light for rapid decontamination of plastic airport security bins inoculated at 3 sites with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and bacteriophages MS2, PhiX174, and Phi6, an enveloped RNA virus used as a surrogate for coronaviruses. Reductions of 3 log10 on inoculated plastic bins were considered effective for decontamination. RESULTS: UV-C light administered as 10-, 20-, or 30-second cycles in proximity to a plastic bin reduced contamination on each of the test sites, including vertical and horizontal surfaces. The 30-second cycle met criteria for decontamination of all 3 test sites for all the test organisms except bacteriophage MS2 which was reduced by greater than 2 log10 PFU at each site. CONCLUSIONS: UV-C light is an attractive technology for rapid decontamination of airport security bins. Further work is needed to evaluate the utility of UV-C light in real-world settings and to develop methods to provide automated movement of bins through a UV-C decontamination process.

5.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(8): ofab328, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370785

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Health care personnel and patients are at risk to acquire severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in health care settings, including in outpatient clinics and ancillary care areas. METHODS: Between May 1, 2020, and January 31, 2021, we identified clusters of 3 or more coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in which nosocomial transmission was suspected in a Veterans Affairs health care system. Asymptomatic employees and patients were tested for SARS-CoV-2 if they were identified as being at risk through contact tracing investigations; for 7 clusters, all personnel and/or patients in a shared work area were tested regardless of exposure history. Whole-genome sequencing was performed to determine the relatedness of SARS-CoV-2 samples from the clusters and from control employees and patients. RESULTS: Of 14 clusters investigated, 7 occurred in community-based outpatient clinics, 1 in the emergency department, 3 in ancillary care areas, and 3 on hospital medical/surgical wards that did not provide care for patients with known COVID-19 infection. Eighty-one of 82 (99%) symptomatic COVID-19 cases and 31 of 35 (89%) asymptomatic cases occurred in health care personnel. Sequencing analysis provided support for several transmission events between coworkers and in 2 cases supported transmission from health care personnel to patients. There were no documented transmissions from patients to personnel. CONCLUSIONS: Clusters of COVID-19 with nosocomial transmission predominantly involved health care personnel and often occurred in outpatient clinics and ancillary care areas. There is a need for improved measures to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by health care personnel in inpatient and outpatient settings.

7.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-3, 2021 May 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213894

ABSTRACT

Several recent reports have raised concern that infected coworkers may be an important source of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) acquisition by healthcare personnel. In a suspected outbreak among emergency department personnel, sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 confirmed transmission among coworkers. The suspected 6-person outbreak included 2 distinct transmission clusters and 1 unrelated infection.

8.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 42(2): 215-217, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1083571

ABSTRACT

On coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) wards, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleic acid was frequently detected on high-touch surfaces, floors, and socks inside patient rooms. Contamination of floors and shoes was common outside patient rooms on the COVID-19 wards but decreased after improvements in floor cleaning and disinfection were implemented.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Environmental Pollution/analysis , Intensive Care Units , Patients' Rooms , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/virology , Clothing , Disinfection/methods , Equipment Contamination , Hospitals, Veterans , Humans , Ohio , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
9.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 42(6): 678-687, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-932192

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Critical shortages of personal protective equipment, especially N95 respirators, during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to be a source of concern. Novel methods of N95 filtering face-piece respirator decontamination that can be scaled-up for in-hospital use can help address this concern and keep healthcare workers (HCWs) safe. METHODS: A multidisciplinary pragmatic study was conducted to evaluate the use of an ultrasonic room high-level disinfection system (HLDS) that generates aerosolized peracetic acid (PAA) and hydrogen peroxide for decontamination of large numbers of N95 respirators. A cycle duration that consistently achieved disinfection of N95 respirators (defined as ≥6 log10 reductions in bacteriophage MS2 and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores inoculated onto respirators) was identified. The treated masks were assessed for changes to their hydrophobicity, material structure, strap elasticity, and filtration efficiency. PAA and hydrogen peroxide off-gassing from treated masks were also assessed. RESULTS: The PAA room HLDS was effective for disinfection of bacteriophage MS2 and G. stearothermophilus spores on respirators in a 2,447 cubic-foot (69.6 cubic-meter) room with an aerosol deployment time of 16 minutes and a dwell time of 32 minutes. The total cycle time was 1 hour and 16 minutes. After 5 treatment cycles, no adverse effects were detected on filtration efficiency, structural integrity, or strap elasticity. There was no detectable off-gassing of PAA and hydrogen peroxide from the treated masks at 20 and 60 minutes after the disinfection cycle, respectively. CONCLUSION: The PAA room disinfection system provides a rapidly scalable solution for in-hospital decontamination of large numbers of N95 respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Decontamination/methods , Disinfectants/therapeutic use , Equipment Contamination/prevention & control , N95 Respirators/virology , Peracetic Acid/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Aerosols , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Cross Infection/virology , Disinfectants/administration & dosage , Geobacillus stearothermophilus , Humans , Hydrogen Peroxide/administration & dosage , Hydrogen Peroxide/therapeutic use , Levivirus , N95 Respirators/adverse effects , N95 Respirators/microbiology , Peracetic Acid/administration & dosage
10.
Am J Infect Control ; 48(8): 951-954, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-549206

ABSTRACT

In the setting of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, efficient methods are needed to decontaminate shared portable devices and large open areas such as waiting rooms. We found that wheelchairs, portable equipment, and waiting room chairs were frequently contaminated with potential pathogens. After minimal manual precleaning of areas with visible soiling, application of a dilute sodium hypochlorite disinfectant using an electrostatic sprayer provided rapid and effective decontamination and eliminated the benign virus bacteriophage MS2 from inoculated surfaces.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Decontamination/methods , Disinfection/methods , Equipment Contamination/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Cross Infection/virology , Disinfectants/administration & dosage , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Pathog Immun ; 5(1): 52-67, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-177364

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) including N95 respirators are an urgent concern in the setting of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Decontamination of PPE could be useful to maintain adequate supplies, but there is uncertainty regarding the efficacy of decontamination technologies. METHODS: A modification of the American Society for Testing and Materials standard quantitative carrier disk test method (ASTM E-2197-11) was used to examine the effectiveness of 3 methods, including ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light, a high-level disinfection cabinet that generates aerosolized peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide, and dry heat at 70°C for 30 minutes. We assessed the decontamination of 3 commercial N95 respirators inoculated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and bacteriophages MS2 and Phi6; the latter is an enveloped RNA virus used as a surrogate for coronaviruses. Three and 6 log10 reductions on respirators were considered effective for decontamination and disinfection, respectively. RESULTS: UV-C administered as a 1-minute cycle in a UV-C box or a 30-minute cycle by a room decontamination device reduced contamination but did not meet criteria for decontamination of the viruses from all sites on the N95s. The high-level disinfection cabinet was effective for decontamination of the N95s and achieved disinfection with an extended 31-minute cycle. Dry heat at 70°C for 30 minutes was not effective for decontamination of the bacteriophages. CONCLUSIONS: UV-C could be useful to reduce contamination on N95 respirators. However, the UV-C technologies studied did not meet pre-established criteria for decontamination under the test conditions used. The high-level disinfection cabinet was more effective and met criteria for disinfection with an extended cycle.

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