HEALTHCARE

Routine Cleaning And Sanitizing Leaves No Trace of Coronavirus on Surfaces in Medical Facility Clinic, Study Finds

KEY POINTS

  • A new study testing multiple surfaces of a New Jersey oncology unit found no traces of the coronavirus, suggesting that strict cleaning and disinfecting protocols helped limit the virus’ spread. 
  • The samples were collected over multiple days before scheduled cleaning of the facility during the height of the New Jersey’s outbreak. 
  • The results should help reassure people who need to visit a doctor for a necessary procedure or checkup and may be afraid of the environment, said Dr. Bruce Haffty, a senior author of the study.

A brand-new study that checked several surface areas of a New Jersey oncology system found no traces of the coronavirus, suggesting that stringent cleaning and decontaminating protocols helped restrict the infection’ spread at the height of the state’s outbreak.


Scientist at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey collected 128 samples from surface areas considered the highest risk for the virus– consisting of door deals with, sinks, and chairs– in a radiation oncology department at the Robert Wood Johnson University Healthcare facility, according to the study released Thursday in JAMA Oncology.

The samples were gathered over several days prior to set up the cleansing of the center throughout the height of New Jersey’s outbreak. The coronavirus wasn’t discovered on any of the samples.
“We intentionally didn’t tell anybody in the department that we were doing this study due to the fact that we didn’t want them to be excessively cautious and to do things that they would not regularly be doing due to the fact that we were doing the testing,” said Dr. Bruce Haffty, a professor and chairman of the radiation oncology department and a senior author of the study.
“We were masking clients, masking ourselves. We were doing regular hand washing and cleaning up and distancing.”


The oncology clients were housed in a medical facility dealing with Covid-19 patients, raising fear that they could be contaminated with the virus and fall seriously ill or die due to the fact that they’re immunocompromised, Haffty said. Health experts throughout the pandemic have voiced concern that the coronavirus has avoided people from checking out hospitals and clinics, even for required treatments and examinations.

“We’ve all needed to alter our lifestyle and change what we do on a day to day basis, however, the important things that you absolutely need to do … they don’t require to be put off needlessly due to the fact that you hesitate of the environment,” he stated.

The coronavirus is generally believed to spread through person-to-person contact when someone sprays respiratory beads while sneezing, coughing, or talking, according to the World Health Company. However, it’s also believed the infection can be transferred through fomites like clothing and furnishings, or by touching inanimate items or surface areas and then your face, nose or mouth.
Scientists kept in mind that their conclusions were limited considering that they didn’t study other modes of transmission and didn’t swab every surface in the unit. They recommend that additional air and surface studies in other environments are needed to better understand how the virus is spread out.

The Centers for Disease Control and Avoidance recommends individuals in your home disinfect frequently touched surface areas, consisting of tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and electronics.

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