COVID-19 pandemic raised a debate regarding the role of airborne transmission. Information regarding virus-laden aerosol concentrations is still scarce in community indoors and what are the risks for general public and the efficiency of restriction policies. This work investigates, for the first time in Italy, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in air samples collected in different community indoors (one train station, two food markets, one canteen, one shopping centre, one hair salon, and one pharmacy) in three Italian cities: metropolitan city of Venice (NE of Italy), Bologna (central Italy), and Lecce (SE of Italy). Air samples were collected during the maximum spread of the second wave of pandemic in Italy (November and December 2020). All collected samples tested negative for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, using both real-time RT-PCR and ddPCR, and no significant differences were observed comparing samples taken with and without customers. Modelling average concentrations, using influx of customers’ data and local epidemiological information, indicated low values (i.e. < 0.8 copies m−3 when cotton facemasks are used and even lower for surgical facemasks). The results, even if with some limitations, suggest that the restrictive policies enforced could effectively reduce the risk of airborne transmissions in the community indoor investigated, providing that physical distance is respected.

Airborne concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 in indoor community environments in Italy

Feltracco M.;Gregoris E.;Gambaro A.;
2021

Abstract

COVID-19 pandemic raised a debate regarding the role of airborne transmission. Information regarding virus-laden aerosol concentrations is still scarce in community indoors and what are the risks for general public and the efficiency of restriction policies. This work investigates, for the first time in Italy, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in air samples collected in different community indoors (one train station, two food markets, one canteen, one shopping centre, one hair salon, and one pharmacy) in three Italian cities: metropolitan city of Venice (NE of Italy), Bologna (central Italy), and Lecce (SE of Italy). Air samples were collected during the maximum spread of the second wave of pandemic in Italy (November and December 2020). All collected samples tested negative for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, using both real-time RT-PCR and ddPCR, and no significant differences were observed comparing samples taken with and without customers. Modelling average concentrations, using influx of customers’ data and local epidemiological information, indicated low values (i.e. < 0.8 copies m−3 when cotton facemasks are used and even lower for surgical facemasks). The results, even if with some limitations, suggest that the restrictive policies enforced could effectively reduce the risk of airborne transmissions in the community indoor investigated, providing that physical distance is respected.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3745326
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