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Environmental Monitoring of Surfaces for a COVID-Safe Workplace

Uncategorized Jun 27, 2020

As Australia re-opens, some States like Victoria are experiencing a resurgence in case numbers.  Was it the protests, is it the returning travellers, is it the asymptomatic spread, is it the super-spreaders?  All valid questions, without clear answers...but what's your business to do IF you WANT and NEED to re-open but you want to do this SAFELY?

Modelling by scientists at the University of Melbourne provides forecast models for the spread of coronavirus infection across Australia and at the State level.  below is the graph for Victoria updated on Saturday 27th June 2020.

In today's Livestream I want to speak about the important role of surface contamination.  We all know that hand sanitiser and regular hand washing is globally promoted as a mandatory step - but have you stopped to think about all the reasons why?  Obviously touching other people with a handshake is easily understood as a risky behaviour - but what about all the other things you touch without thinking much about it.  Your phone, the steering wheel, the handrail on that chair, the ATM machine, the shopping trolley and on and on.  It's these high-touch surfaces that can act as reservoirs for the coronavirus.  Those people actually infected with the virus also shed it into their local environment and it's spread on air currents and on particles of air pollution.  These land on surfaces and can act as fomites for further hand to person contact transmission.  In this way, the virus can be spread.  Now, there's lots of research that discusses the replication competence on different surfaces and how rough or smooth an object is all has a role to play.  But just assume that the coronavirus can remain replication-competent for up to 7 days on surfaces depending on where they are and what they're made from.

In today's Livestream, we go into a shopping centre in Melbourne and demonstrate how we can test commonly used (and touched) surfaces to look for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  We're looking for the RNA using qPCR molecular screening.

In the video, we show you live what we found!!!  It's amazing (and shocking): 1 in 5 of the tested surfaces FAILED.  That's like 20%.  The literature predicted a FAIL rate of just under 17%.  If the limited range of surfaces we tested FAILED - imagine what your building is hiding?

I also review the Key Results for a Survey of the Australian public that showed how they feel about the issue of surface contamination and PCR swab testing.  The results show that unequivocally, the Australian Public want surface testing in the workplace. 

We are offering qPCR swab testing to businesses across Victoria.  We come to you, suit up into PPE and will test your building.  If you PASS - great news.  If there are any FAILS, then you can take appropriate action.

The AIM of swab testing is to provide evidence that your cleaning protocols are actually disinfecting the areas as anticipated.  Cleaning g validation in this way over time builds up a picture of how effectively the business or facility is maintaining hygiene standards regarding the coronavirus. The entire point of qPCR testing is to inspire confidence during the re-opening. 

Where to obtain an onsite coronavirus surface swab test:


JONES, C.L. (2020). COVID-Safe Awareness and Implications for Environmental Surface Testing in Australia. International Journal for Research in Applied Science and Engineering Technology (IJRASET), Volume 8, Issue V, Page No: 1234-1245, ISSN : 2321-9653,

JONES, C.L. (2020). Environmental Surface Contamination with SARS-CoV-2 - A Short Review. Journal of Human Virology & Retrovirology. 8(1): 15-19.

Watch the Livestream on how qPCR can be used to rapidly detect the coronavirus on high touch surfaces 


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