Monday, February 15, 2021

REALM Project Test 7 & 8 Results for COVID Virus Survival on Library Materials

Research conducted as part of the REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Project has been testing how long the virus that causes COVID-19 remains detectable on various library surfaces and materials.

In test series 7 and 8, the Project looked at 4 materials commonly used in library materials: hardcover book cover, softcover book cover, plastic protective cover (for hardcover books), and expanded polyethylene foam (for storage and shipping).

"For Test 7, materials were held at colder (34 to 36°F; 1 to 4°C) temperatures; for Test 8, materials were held at warmer (83 to 84°F; 28 to 29°C) temperatures. For both tests, relative humidity remained the same as previous tests (...) The book cover materials were tested in a stacked configuration, the foam in an unstacked configuration. The Test 7 materials (colder temperature) were examined on days 2, 6, 8, 9, and 10; Test 8 materials (warmer temperature) were examined on days at 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8."

"Results show that attenuation rates for materials held at the colder temperature were significantly slower compared to the warmer and ambient temperatures. At day 10, the final Test 7 timepoint, the amount of active virus present remained nearly unchanged from the T0 measurement for all materials except hardcover book cover. In contrast, in Test 8, by day 6 the virus was undetected on all materials except the plastic protective cover; this was a slightly faster attenuation time than what occurred at ambient temperatures. The virus was undetectable on the plastic protective cover at day 8. This data may suggest that additional considerations may need to be evaluated regarding outdoor collection boxes, or storage in colder conditions. For institutions using quarantine periods, this research can impact when to start the quarantine 'clock' once a material is brought into a controlled environment. Data also suggests that, when possible, storage in warmer areas may help to shorten the length of quarantine."

REALM is a collaboration between OCLC, an international library services cooperative, the US government agency Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle, an R&D organization.

Further details and results from previous tests are available on the OCLC REALM Project website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:46 pm

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