Smiths Detection reports that its BioFlash® Biological Identifier is capable of detecting airborne COVID-19 following tests conducted by the University of Oregon, positioning the technology as an effective environmental monitoring tool for use in indoor public spaces.
The University of Oregon tests were performed in quarantine and isolation spaces known to have individuals who had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus causing COVID-19). The BioFlash identified aerosolized virus, at the detectable range generated via human shedding, in rooms where the presence of SARS-CoV-2 was also detected by environmental swabs. The BioFlash technology allows for onsite confirmation of these results in under three minutes.
The findings build upon previously reported USAMRIID test results from February 2021 that determined Smiths Detection’s BioFlash detected aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 in a controlled release.
The system is now available in the U.S. with global roll out underway and has recently been successfully used by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) to identify airborne SARS-CoV-2 inside their campus in real-time at the point of testing.
As part of their mitigation strategy for COVID-19, UMBC’s Environmental Safety and Health (ESH) team have been using BioFlash across the campus. In one instance, the airborne detector was deployed to help the campus community safely re-enter a research facility after a person working there tested positive. After multiple tests performed on the BioFlash ruled-out the presence of airborne SARS-CoV-2, the ESH team deemed the facility contamination-free, allowing staff and students to safely return and research to continue without significant pause.
In a separate instance, in a collaborative effort with the UMBC Sports Medicine Department, a test conducted in a team locker room resulted in a positive environmental detection on the BioFlash. This detection ultimately led UMBC to test all people present for COVID-19, identifying three infected individuals, which helped prevent further spread of the virus.