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Research Letter
March 4, 2020

Air, Surface Environmental, and Personal Protective Equipment Contamination by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) From a Symptomatic Patient

Author Affiliations
  • 1National Centre for Infectious Diseases, Singapore
  • 2DSO National Laboratories, Singapore
JAMA. 2020;323(16):1610-1612. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.3227

Coronaviruses have been implicated in nosocomial outbreaks1 with environmental contamination as a route of transmission.2 Similarly, nosocomial transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been reported.3 However, the mode of transmission and extent of environmental contamination are unknown.

From January 24 to February 4, 2020, 3 patients at the dedicated SARS-CoV-2 outbreak center in Singapore in airborne infection isolation rooms (12 air exchanges per hour) with anterooms and bathrooms had surface environmental samples taken at 26 sites. Personal protective equipment (PPE) samples from study physicians exiting the patient rooms also were collected. Sterile premoistened swabs were used.