Study: Omicron Lasts Longer On Surfaces Than Previous COVID-19 Variants
While the primary source of transmission remains airborne droplets for any variant of the COVID-19 virus, recent studies indicate the the recent Omicron strain is capable of surviving on human skin and plastic longer than its counterparts — making touchpoint disinfection an ongoing emphasis for facilities.
According to a study from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine and reported by euronews.next, laboratory testing found that the Omicron variant’s environmental stability (or ability to remain infectious) helps it to spread more rapidly than previous forms. The tests, which are yet to be peer reviewed, were conducted on skin and plastic surfaces and indicated the following on each notable strain.
Average Survival Times On Plastic By Total Hours:
• Original: 56
• Alpha: 191.3
• Beta: 156.6
• Gamma: 59.3
• Delta: 114
• Omicron: 193.5
Average Survival Times On Skin By Total Hours:
• Original: 8.6
• Alpha: 19.6
• Beta: 19.1
• Gamma: 11
• Delta: 16.8
• Omicron: 21.1
In addition to the primary tests, the study also indicated that Omicron had an enhanced stability agains VOCs (variants of concern), which was conducive to it overtaking Delta as the primary COVID-19 strain It also notes that within 15 seconds, alcohol-based sanitizers are capable of inactivating all strains of the virus despite Omicron and other variants having a higher level of ethanol resistance compared to the original strain. Because of this, the use of disinfectants and facility hygiene guidelines should still be strictly followed.
For best practices on deep-cleaning COVID-19 in facilities, click here.