As part of the REALM project’s research, Battelle has conducted eight natural attenuation studies to provide information on how long the infectious virus may survive on materials common to archives, libraries, and museums. Spread of the COVID-19 virus via contaminated objects (also called fomites) is not currently believed to be a primary method of transmission, but additional research is needed to better understand this route of transmission.
Tests 1 through 6 measured the attenuation time of virulent SARS-CoV-2 virus applied to materials held at ambient room temperature (68 to 75°F, 20 to 24°C) and relative humidity conditions (30 to 50 percent). For Tests 7 and 8, materials were held at colder (34 to 36°F; 1 to 4°C) and warmer (83 to 84°F; 28 to 29°C) temperatures; relative humidity remained the same as previous tests.
The materials in Tests 7 and 8 included the following items:
|Hardcover book cover||Buckram cloth||Hardcover book cover|
|Softcover book cover||Coated paper||Trade paperback|
|Plastic protective cover||Biaxially oriented polyester film||Protective layer for hardcover books|
|Expanded polyethylene foam
||1-in polyethylene foam||Storage and shipping|
The book materials were provided by the Columbus Metropolitan Library and the expanded polyethylene foam was provided by the National Archives and Records Administration.
The results of the seventh and eighth round of testing were released on February 11, 2021.