New Developments in COVID-19 Testing of Surfaces

Recent developments of analytical methods now enables surfaces within workplaces to be tested for the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2).  The new test will allow for rapid verification that cleaning and disinfection of buildings has been effective.

Thankfully, at the moment the risk of infection remains low but as we open up the economy we will likely see fluctuations in the number of recorded cases and experience sporadic outbreaks of infections which will inevitably impact the operations of workplaces, educational and retail facilities.

Until now, there was no reliable method of testing surfaces within a building or workplace for the presence of the virus responsible for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). Prensa can now offer this service as part of an integrated approach to responding to reported or suspected cases of COVID-19. Our approach is designed to protect the health of all personnel in a building whilst minimising the costs and downtime associated with a COVID-19 outbreak.

Prensa can assist through:

  • Systematically identifying the areas need to be cleaned and disinfected using a risk based approach;
  • Verification and validation that the cleaning and disinfection is conducted in accordance with the Government guidelines;
  • Swabbing of representative surfaces including common touch points for presence of the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) following terminal clean/disinfections.  Note this technology has only recently emerged and can now be incorporated into all verifications undertaken by Prensa;
  • Issue of documentation verifying the above for communication to all affected stakeholders.

Test methods previously available (e.g. Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) testing) have not been specific for viruses, in particular SARS-CoV-2.

The new testing methodology offers the ability for laboratory turnaround time of results within 24 hours providing a new level of reassurance to personnel reoccupying cleaned areas whilst minimising shut down periods.