November 18, 2021

Effect of SARS-CoV-2 surface contamination in staff common areas on HCW infection

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

This study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine finds that staff common area surface contamination with SARS-CoV-2 did not predict healthcare worker (HCW) COVID-19 infection.

A total of 640 samples were obtained from staff common areas over 20 weeks.


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Unadjusted analysis found that surface contamination corresponded with higher rates of COVID-19 among nursing staff, which paralleled increasing incidence of COVID-19 in the community and patient census.

After adjusting for COVID-19 community incidence, no significant association was found between surface contamination and staff infections.

The findings underscore the need to ensure adequate staffing, resources, and efforts for environmental disinfection during periods of high COVID-19 burden in the community and patient census, the researchers say.

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