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No SARS-CoV-2 RNA Seen on Surfaces in Radiation Oncology Clinic

No detectable SARS-CoV-2 found in radiation oncology dept. housed in tertiary care COVID-19 referral center

THURSDAY, Aug. 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Testing of environmental surfaces in the radiation oncology clinic in a tertiary care COVID-19 referral center revealed no detectable severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA, according to a research letter published online Aug. 27 in JAMA Oncology.

Imraan Jan, D.O., from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and colleagues conducted a quality improvement study taking place in a radiation oncology department housed in a tertiary care COVID-19 referral center. For six days during the period of peak daily rate of COVID-19 diagnosis in New Jersey, environmental swabbing occurred following the World Health Organization protocols for COVID-19 surface sampling before scheduled cleaning and disinfection. Areas targeted for sampling were chosen based on a higher risk for contamination due to frequent use and patient contact.

The researchers found that none of the 128 environmental samples taken in the radiation oncology department were positive for SARS-CoV-2. Of the samples, 15 were taken from objects used by patients with COVID-19; none of these were positive for SARS-CoV-2.

“We believe that appropriate patient care should not be delayed because of the pandemic,” the authors write. “The results of this study suggest that following strict prevention protocols and routine cleaning and disinfecting seem adequate for limiting surface contamination with SARS-CoV-2.”

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