KELOLAND Investigation testing surfaces for COVID-19


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When the pandemic first hit the U.S., we were all worried about the surfaces we touched. We even heard the advice that we should keep our grocery bags in the garage 24 hours before bringing them in and to wipe down everything we could.

While we now know that surface contact is not the main way the virus is transmitted, if you don’t practice good hygiene, it is one way you still can catch it.

We received a surface testing kid from an Oregon company called Enviral Tech.

It came with a pair of gloves, swabs and vials. I set out to swab surfaces around the city to see if COVID-19 was present on any of them.

Surface testing kit from Enviral TEch

The kit comes with 8 vials. We swabbed a couple of parking meters, a bench, several door handles and a postal box.

The company returns the results in 24 hours.

Oregon-based Enviral Tech lab for testing surface samples for COVID-19.

“And that’s the whole purpose to what we’re doing–is really trying to help give visibility to what’s happening in your facility so you can take action. That’s the most important thing is that there is a reaction to the results, so that we don’t continue to spend the virus around.”

Shula Jaron, Enviral Tech Co-Founder

Just how long can coronavirus last on surfaces? The colder the weather, the longer it hangs around.

“It can last from hours to days and it depends on heat and how much UV light from the sun is touching it. The one thing about a lot of the research around COVID-19 and SARS COV-2 is that it’s new and that we don’t have all the answers for that,” SDSU Public Health Specialist Laura Dirks said.

We didn’t know what to expect from the surface testing, but some of the results were surprising. We will have those for you and which facilities the company is targeting with its testing, in Monday’s KELOLAND News Investigation at 10.

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