’Fake spit’ tests show library materials free of coronavirus after 3 days

’Fake spit’ tests show library materials free of coronavirus after 3 days

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Scientists have good news for libraries and their legions of customers. According to research by Columbus-based Battelle, the virus that causes COVID-19 is undetectable on books and other common materials after three days.

That means items appear safe for re-circulation after a relatively brief and inexpensive 72-hour quarantine.

Officials with the Columbus Metropolitan Library and other systems cheered the findings, which were released this week as part of a national project on the safe reopening of archives, libraries and museums.

Columbus has already been adhering to a three-day quarantine for items based on initial recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spokesman Ben Zenitsky said Tuesday.

“These results really affirm that the virus is not detectable on common library materials after that time,” he said. “We will continue doing what we’re doing.”

Books sit in one of the five quarantine areas inside the Whetstone branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library in Clintonville on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. As a precaution to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the books are left untouched for 72 hours before being reshelved and returned into circulation.

Will Richter, principal research scientist at Battelle, said the study built on existing research to essentially put materials through the worst that a sneezing adult or drooling toddler could do.

Hard and soft book covers, paper pages inside closed books, mylar book jackets and plastic DVD cases were “inoculated” with liquid droplets containing thousands of particles of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 illness.

“We wanted to replicate a decently worst-case scenario,” Richter said. “There’s a formula for synthetic saliva. We basically make fake spit.”

The virus was not detectable after one day on the hard and soft book covers and DVD cases, and couldn’t be found on the paper inside a book and on mylar jackets after three days.

The findings are part of the Reopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Project, which is supported by Battelle, the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences and OCLC, a nonprofit library technology and research organization.

More results are expected in July.

“Scientific research is essential to answer questions about the spread of the coronavirus on materials that are ever-present in our nation’s libraries, archives and museums,” Crosby Kemper, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, said in a news release.

Kemper said systems know that organizations and the public are asking, “How can we mitigate risk to staff? How should patrons and visitors handle books, touchable exhibits or DVD cases?”

Richter, a microbiologist, said it’s up to libraries and other organizations to design their quarantine procedures based on research findings. “We did the science part,” he said.

For updates about additional research through the REALM project, go to oc.lc/realm-project

Follow Rita Price on Twitter: @RitaPrice

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/06/25/fake-spit-tests-show-library-materials-free-coronavirus-after-3-days/3256112001/

News Related

ORTHER NEWS

Trump’s ‘mission accomplished’ moment is premature and deadly. We have not defeated COVID.

Desperate for crowds and adoration, Trump has put his most fervent supporters at risk of getting a deadly disease. Future historians will be astonished. Read more »

NFLPA president JC Tretter says NFL is putting season, players at risk with its coronavirus approach

NFL Players Association president JC Tretter said Tuesday the NFL is putting the 2020 season at risk with its coronavirus approach, calling on the league to better “prioritize player safety.” “Like many other... Read more »

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he tested positive for the coronavirus

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity. Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and... Read more »

Venice Film Festival forges ahead amid COVID-19 pandemic with reduced lineup

The show will go on for the Venice Film Festival in September, but with a few modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers said Tuesday that they are pushing forward with plans for... Read more »

Amtrak offers buy-one, get-one promotion on its sleeper trains amid COVID-19 — with a catch

Amtrak wants you to have sweet dreams the next time you travel — so much so that it’s sweetening the deal on its sleeper “roomettes.” The rail service is offering a buy-one-get-one-free discount... Read more »

Florida teen treated with hydroxychloroquine at home before dying of COVID-19, report says

FORT MEYERS, Fla. – The family of a 17-year-old Florida girl who died last month from COVID-19 treated her symptoms at home for nearly a week before taking her to a hospital, a... Read more »

Mookie Betts worried MLB coronavirus testing woes could prevent him from ever playing for Dodgers

During nearly four months away from the game, Mookie Betts said he “stayed away from baseball to keep myself sane.” It’s not hard to understand why. The 2018 American League Most Valuable Player... Read more »

Tom Hanks doesn’t get ‘how common sense has somehow been put into question’ with coronavirus

Read more »

Can Gov. DeSantis force Florida schools to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic? Some school leaders seem doubtful.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As concern about the state order spread online, some school leaders said: Not so fast. As Florida educators puzzle over how to start the new academic year, Gov. Ron... Read more »

Texas surpasses 200,000 coronavirus cases after 4th of July holiday weekend

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas reached 200,000 total COVID-19 cases Monday, just 17 days after crossing the 100,000 threshold, a figure that took the state nearly four months to hit. The grim milestone came... Read more »