G2 Consultants (G2) would like to announce to our clients that we currently have the ability to test surfaces for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. The laboratory analysis can detect the specific genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, eliminating the need for surrogate (bacteria and fungi) analysis to determine efficacy of cleaning efforts. This testing and analysis may also be useful for post SARS-CoV-2 cleaning and disinfecting verification, initial cleanliness screening inspections and building recommissioning assessments prior to re-occupancy.
Due to an increased interest in the testing services, this FAQ has been provided to assist with answering your questions. Please let us know if you have any questions of your own. We’re here to help!
What is the advantage of utilizing G2 for this type of testing?
- Assessment/sampling protocols are developed by Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIHs).
- The laboratory utilizes FDA approved analysis methods.
- It provides specific SARS-CoV-2 identifiers vs. non-SARS-CoV-2 specific markers.
- It provides an assessment conducted by an independent third party company that you can make available to employees, public, vendors, etc.
- It can provide another tool in deciding whether a facility should be deep cleaned or not.
- It can provide third party post deep cleaning verification.
- It can provide assistance that seeing if current internal cleaning protocols are effective.
What is the test?
- It is a qualitative (present/not present) surface test, specifically for SARS-CoV-2, that uses a real time (RT) reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis methodology.
How is the testing performed?
- One of our trained technicians comes to your site to conduct the assessment and collect samples. The technician will don personal protective gear while at your facility to ensure that both they are protected, as well as anyone that they may come into contact with. Social distancing will be maintained during the testing.
- Representative surface sampling of high touch points is conducted throughout the space, utilizing swabs.
- The samples are packaged according to lab protocols, and sent overnight via FedEx to the laboratory under a chain of custody.
- Time required to conduct the assessment will depend on the a variety of factors, including the size of the space/facility, type of location, etc.
When will I receive results back?
- Depending on the turnaround time requested, we will have preliminary results back within 2-5 business days of the samples being collected.
- We can provide a summary email with the preliminary results within 24-hrs of receipt of the lab results.
- A report will follow within approximately 3-5 days of the receipt of the lab results.
What kind of report will I receive?
- We will provide a letter report with the details of the facility, scope of work (pre-cleaning, post-cleaning, building opening, etc.), a table with sample locations/result details, and recommendations within 3-5 days of the receipt of the lab results.
Are there any limitations?
- Yes. Not every surface can reasonably be sampled/assessed. It would simply be cost prohibitive. G2’s approach is to collect representative samples of “high-traffic” touch points within an environment. Depending on the type of environment (office, school, manufacturing, retail, etc.) each location will be evaluated on what will be considered representative. For example, in an office environment, these touch points may include door handles, light switches, computer keyboards, etc.
- The assessment is representative of the surfaces at the time of sampling. As soon as those areas are accessed post sampling, it is possible that someone may touch those surfaces and cause contamination.
If the sampling results show that no SARS-CoV-2 is present, can that space/building be considered “SARS-CoV-2 Free”?
- No. The purpose of the sampling is to provide a reasonable level of assessment, of those surfaces that people are likely to come into contact with, both prior to and after the sampling. Not every high contact surface will be sampled. A representative number of surfaces will be included in the sampling strategy.
- Our report will reflect the results of the sampling, and the limitations, of which some are outlined above.
What if the assessment identifies SARS-CoV-2 on one or more of the samples?
- G2 will work with you and your team to develop next steps for addressing those environments with positive test. This may include:
- Development of site specific cleaning protocols,
- Helping identify a qualified company to conduct the cleaning,
- Providing oversight to ensure that cleaning protocols are being followed
- Post cleaning verification sampling.
What is the cost for the assessment?
- The cost of the assessment will depend on a variety of factors:
- Type of facility
- Size of facility
- Number of samples collected
- Turnaround time requested on sample analysis
Contact us to discuss your specific needs and we can provide a tailored proposal for these services.