UNMC study finds new evidence of COVID-19 surface contamination

Published: Mar. 29, 2020 at 11:47 AM CDT
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A study by UNMC, Nebraska Medicine and NSRI researchers announced findings on Sunday with new evidence of environmental contamination of patient care areas from the virus which causes COVID-19.

Officials cautioned their findings do not confirm that the virus is airborne. The samples for the study provided "limited evidence" that some potential for airborne transmission is possible. More research is being done.

The study found high levels of contamination on commonly used surfaces and in the air of patients' rooms. Samples of air from hallways outside of patient rooms were also positive.

"The study suggests that COVID-19 patients, even those who are only mildly ill, may create aerosols of virus and contaminate surfaces that may pose a risk for transmission," officials said in a press release.

The findings show the importance for healthcare workers to take precautions when treating patients said Vice Chancellor for Inter-professional Health Security Training and Education John Lowe, Ph.D.

"That means wearing the proper personal protective equipment, using negative air pressure rooms for these patients whenever possible and being mindful about the method of entering and exiting these rooms," he added.

UNMC/Nebraska Medicine officials discuss a recently released study that details how the virus that causes COVID-19 is transmitted.

Posted by Nebraska Medicine on Sunday, March 29, 2020