We have just had a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases exploring the extent and magnitude of hospital surface and air contamination with SARS-CoV-2 during the (first!) peak of COVID-19 in London. The bottom line is that we identified pretty extensive surface and air contamination with SARS-CoV-2 RNA but did not culture viable virus. We concluded that this highlights the potential role of contaminated surfaces and air in the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
The next instalment of the HIS audience-led webinar series is on the role of contaminated surfaces in COVID-19 transmission. I was delighted to be part of the panel for this one:
- Dr Lena Ciric – Associate Professor in Environmental Engineering, University College London
- Dr Stephanie Dancer – Consultant Microbiologist, NHS Lanarkshire and Professor of Microbiology, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland
- Dr Manjula Meda – Consultant Clinical Microbiologist and Infection Control Doctor, Frimley Park Hospital
- Dr Jon Otter – Infection prevention and control Epidemiologist, Imperial College London
- Chair: Dr Surabhi Taori, Consultant microbiologist and infection control doctor, Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Here’s the recording:
The next in the series of the HIS audience-led webinar on all-things ventilation in the management of COVID-19 went out recently. The panel consisted of:
- Peter Hoffman – Consultant Clinical Scientist, London
- Dr Chris Lynch – Graham Ayliffe Training Fellow, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
- Professor Catherine Noakes – Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings, University of Leeds
- Karren Staniforth – Clinical Scientist, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
- Dr James Price (chair) – Consultant in Infection Prevention & Control and Antimicrobial Stewardship, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
The webinar video is below:
There’s a huge amount of academic and pragmatic discussion and debate about the appropriate levels of PPE to wear in various healthcare settings to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to yourself and others in healthcare settings. And more recently, when to wear face coverings / masks / shields in public areas of hospitals, on public transport, and in shops. However, there is much, much less discussion about the importance of careful doffing (removal) of PPE and face coverings etc in order to ensure the safe and effective use of PPE. This helpful Cochrane Review, updated for the COVID-19 era, covers a lot of ground and one key conclusion is that doffing is key: if it is done carefully, the risk of self-contamination is lower.
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. As UK government guidance has changed, face masks and face coverings will be very much the norm on public transport and in healthcare settings soon. So, now is a good time to consider whether face shields could play a role in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Language is such a small thing when terms are clearly defined and I accept that ‘physical distancing’ and ‘social distancing’ are synonymous. However, the aim in my view is to remain socially connected whilst physically distancing, so that’s why I’m using physical distancing instead of social distancing.
The second in the series of excellent Healthcare Infection Society (HIS) interactive audience-led webinars went out a few weeks ago. The theme for this was hospital-onset and hospital-acquired COVID-19 infections, and here’s the video.
As we begin to look to the other side of the peak of COVID-19, this issue of more widespread testing of patients, staff (and indeed the general population) for infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus whether or not they have symptoms is looming large. We need to think carefully about the risk of false positives when interpreting the meaning of a positive PCR test in a group of people with a low prevalence of SARS-CoV-2.
The Healthcare Infection Society has put out a rather innovative interactive webinar on some challenges and solutions related to IPC for COVID-19. The webinar was an expert panel Q&A format, and worked really well.
The panel was chaired by Prof Hilary Humphreys (a consultant microbiologist) and included Cariad Evans (consultant virologist), Peter Hoffman (consultant clinical scientist), Martin Kiernan (infection control nurse – and fellow blogger!), and Chris Settle (consultant microbiologist).
Here’s the webinar, with some of my notes below.
As parts of the world begin to contemplate life on the other side of this pandemic, it’s time to address that niggle in the back of our minds as our attention has been focussed on COVID-19: what’s been happening with those other HCAI and AMR issues that usually occupy our days (and nights)? This helpful opinion piece in ICHE discusses the impact of COVID-19 on our usual HCAI & AMR practice.