SARS-CoV-2 (CoVID-19) is a novel coronavirus responsible for the current worldwide pandemic. This virus can cause a range of clinical presentations from asymptomatic infection to severe acute respiratory syndrome. Person-to-person transmission occurs through respiratory droplets and contact with items and surfaces contaminated by respiratory secretions. The virus may remain viable on surfaces for up to 3 days. Public health professionals have recommended cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces. As businesses, organizations, and schools begin to resume operations they will need to implement a response plan to address the health and safety of individuals and the environment.
Environmental testing for SARS-CoV-2 can be an important addition to sanitation and mitigation strategies to help ensure public safety. The SARS-CoV-2 test can be used to monitor the presence of the virus on surfaces and the effectiveness of sanitation measures.
The SARS-CoV-2 assay employs amplification of the viral nucleic acid (RNA) by one-step reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) using the N1 and N2 regions of the nucleocapsid gene. This assay specifically detects SARS-CoV-2 (CoVID-19) and not SARS-CoV-1, MERS, or common cold coronaviruses. It has been evaluated on plastic, stainless steel, brass, rubber, and ceramic surfaces. The assay includes an amplification control for each sample to ensure that the reaction was not affected by any inhibition/interference from the surface material.
Swab samples of nonporous surfaces are acceptable for testing. Collection from high-touch surfaces is recommended, e.g. door handles, shared equipment/appliances, keyboards, bathrooms, table/desk surfaces, etc. The kit includes the following items:
- Insulated shipping box
- Small zip-lock bags (one for each sample)
- Large zip-lock transport bag
- Collection swabs
- BLUE tubes w/ wetting agent
- CLEAR tubes w/extraction agent
- Collection instructions
- Chain of custody
- Return shipping label (Fedex Standard Overnight)
The extraction agent used for sample collection inactivates the virus within 2 minutes to allow safe transport of samples. Samples must be shipped overnight to the laboratory.
This assay specifically detects SARS-CoV-2 and is reported as Positive or Negative. No additional confirmatory testing is necessary. The standard turn-around-time is 2 business days from sample receipt. Next Day and Same Day results are available for an additional price.