Study reveals that rigorous surface disinfection in nursing homes is vital

A new study points to the importance of surfaces as a reservoir of risk in nursing homes — especially certain objects close to the beds of patients who have COVID-19.

Key points

  • The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients shed virus into their surrounding environment frequently and persistently.
  • Independent patients are more likely to contaminate their immediate environment.
  • Contamination of common areas within and near COVID-19 units occurred infrequently.
    Why this matters
While detection of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA does not indicate infectiousness, this detection can be used to determine where in the nursing home setting virus is most likely to be present. Infection control policies should thoughtfully incorporate environmental cleaning, education, and diligent use of personal protective equipment by frontline staff.