Hospital floor being cleaned with a mop

The majority of news outlets have talked a lot about how proper cleaning of frequently touched surfaces helps rid facilities of the dangerous germs that are spread across their property. However, much of the coverage on cleaning has had less to say about the importance of other cleaning practices - such as vacuuming and odor control. As a recent study demonstrates, all acts of cleaning are hugely important.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently shared the findings of a study the Academy of Military Medical Sciences of China conducted in hospital wards in Wuhan, China. The study, which took place between Feb. 19 and March 2, tasked researchers with swabbing samples from potentially contaminated surface in hospital intensive care units (ICU) and general wards. The researchers also took samples of indoor air and the outlets of air to detect possible aerosol exposure, and swabbed floors, trash cans, personal protective equipment and other objects.

Researchers found that viruses had been widely distributed through the air on all sorts of object surfaces - especially on floors, computer mice, trash cans and the handrails of beds used by sick patients.

According to findings in this study, floors can be a strong source of cross-contamination. Gravity and air flow cause virus droplets to fall to the ground, where medical staff picks it up and potentially tracks it throughout the facility. For example, the study found a 100 percent rate of positivity from the floor in the pharmacy, where there were no patients. Furthermore, half of the samples from the soles of the ICU medical staff shoes tested positive, proving that they could act as carriers.

To read everything the CDC shared on the study, click here.