Environmental contamination of SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare premises

Guangming Ye, Hualiang Lin, Song Chen, Shichan Wang, Zhikun Zeng, Wei Wang, Shiyu Zhang, Terri Rebmann, Yirong Li, Zhenyu Pan, Zhonghua Yang, Ying Wang, Fubing Wang, Zhengmin Qian, Xinghuan Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


Objectives: A large number of healthcare workers (HCWs) were infected by SARS-CoV-2 during the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. Hospitals are significant epicenters for the human-to-human transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 for HCWs, patients, and visitors. No data has been reported on the details of hospital environmental contamination status in the epicenter of Wuhan. Methods: We collected 626 surface swabs within the Zhongnan Medical Center in Wuhan in the mist of the COVID-19 outbreak between February 7 - February 27, 2020. Dacron swabs were aseptically collected from the surfaces of 13 hospital function zones, five major objects, and three major PPE. The SARS-CoV-2 RNAs were detected by reverse transcription-PCR. Results: The most contaminated zones were the intensive care unit specialized for taking care of novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) (31.9%), Obstetric Isolation Ward specialized for pregnant women with NCP (28.1%), and Isolation Ward for NCP (19.6%). We classified the 13 zones into four contamination levels. The most contaminated objects were self-service printers (20.0%), desktop/keyboard (16.8%), and doorknob (16.0%). Both hand sanitizer dispensers (20.3%) and gloves (15.4%) were the most contaminated PPE. Conclusion: Our findings emphasize the urgent need to ensure adequate environmental cleaning, strengthen infection prevention training, and improve infection prevention among HCWs during the outbreak of COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1-e5
JournalJournal of Infection
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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