PPE Negative for SARS-CoV-2 After Patient Contact

Samples from goggles, N95 respirators, shoes of 30 health care workers were negative for SARS-CoV-2

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FRIDAY, March 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Samples collected from personal protective equipment (PPE) from health care workers (HCWs) caring for patients positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) were negative for SARS-CoV-2, according to research published online March 26 in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

Sean Wei Xiang Ong, M.B.B.S., from the National Centre for Infectious Diseases in Singapore, and colleagues conducted a one-day PPE sampling study on HCWs caring for confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection patients to determine the risk for PPE contamination with SARS-CoV-2 per contact episode. PPE samples were collected from the front of goggles, front surface of N95 respirators, and front surface of shoes of 30 HCWs (doctors, nurses, and cleaners) exiting the rooms of 15 patients with positive SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction within the previous 48 hours.

The researchers found that all 90 samples were negative from the HCWs. The median time spent in a room was six minutes, with activities ranging from casual contact such as administering medication and cleaning to closer contact such as physical examination and collection of respiratory samples.

"Despite the potential for extensive environmental contamination by SARS-CoV-2, we did not find similar contamination of PPE after patient contact," the authors write. "This provides assurance that extended use of N95 and goggles with strict adherence to environmental and hand hygiene while managing SARS-CoV-2 patients could be a safe option."

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