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COVID-19 found on several frequently touched surfaces in Sioux City

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - COVID-19: we can't see, touch, or smell it. But after doing surface testing, health experts at the Siouxland Community Health Center says they have found the virus, is in fact, living in frequently-visited areas in Sioux City.

"It proves the point that you need to wash your hands multiple times," said Michael Piplani, Chief Medical Officer with the Siouxland Community Health Center.

Health experts at the Siouxland Community Health Center said they tested multiple surfaces for COVID-19.

They used "Surface Check Kits" from a company called Enviral Tech. The test can identify COVID-19 on high traffic surfaces, to detect outbreaks early.

"It feels good to be able to do something. It feels good to be able to give visibility to something that is completely invisible otherwise," said Shula Jaron, CEO of Enviral Tech.

Results are either positive or negative. If they are positive they are put in ranges - low, medium, or high.

"When you have a high or a medium, it likely means you have an active shedder in the environment because we are detecting quite a bit of virus on the surfaces. When you have a low, it could mean that you have someone who is shedding the virus that didn't come close to that surface or that it's older," said Jaron.

In Sioux City, the health center tested a USPS box, a door on a government building, and a credit card machine.

Two came back positive for COVID-19: the door and the credit card machine.

Shula Jaron, CEO of Enviral Tech, says the Surface Check has a higher and more reliable sensitivity than human testing.

"There is no surprise to me that we are finding COVID in the community, and we are finding it in other places as well," said Jaron.

Jaron said because the virus is likely airborne, it's important to understand they are not testing to determine whether a surface is infectious.

They are testing to determine whether there is someone, who, in a particular environment, is shedding the virus, so they can help stop that spread.

Sample InformationSample DateTest DateCOVID-19 Results
Random USPS Boxes12/17/202012/19/2020Negative
Government Building Doors/Elevator Buttons12/17/202012/19/2020Positive Medium
Parking Ramp - Ticket Button #112/17/202012/19/2020Negative
Downtown Parking Meter12/17/202012/19/2020Negative
Random Business Credit Card Machine12/17/202012/19/2020Positive Low
Random Office Building Elevator Buttons #112/17/202012/19/2020Negative
Random Office Building Elevator Buttons #212/17/202012/19/2020Negative
Parking Ramp - Ticket Button #212/17/202012/19/2020Positive Medium
Random Business Gas Pump Handle/CC/Buttons12/17/202012/19/2020Borderline Low
SCHC Outside Door12/17/202012/19/2020Negative
SCHC Bathroom12/17/202012/19/2020Borderline Low
SCHC Fingerprint Sensor Food Kiosk12/17/202012/19/2020Negative
Data collected from the Siouxland Community Health Center
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Xava Parra

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