Our professional Industrial Hygienists recently completed air and swab sampling of a conference room to evaluate the facility’s Operations and Maintenance (O&M) procedures. Testing and laboratory analysis were performed based on the guidelines specified by the CDC and authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clinical COVID-19 diagnostics.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, many businesses have started performing environmental sampling to evaluate their facilities for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces and in the air. Questions still remain concerning the value of environmental sampling for COVID-19. Environmental sampling may be useful when used as part of an overall risk assessment of the facility to evaluate control measures that have been implemented to reduce the risk of transmissions. Environmental sampling should not be used to replace appropriate cleaning and disinfection protocols or other control measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission. As environmental sampling of SARS-CoV-2 may not provide conclusive results about the presence of infectious virus, public health recommendations, such as physical distancing, face coverings, proper hand hygiene, and appropriate respiratory etiquette, should be followed to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 transmissions at your facility.