During a COVID-19 outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship we sampled environmental surfaces after passengers and crew vacated cabins. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in 58 of 601 samples (10%) from case cabins 1-17 days after cabins were vacated but not from noncase cabins. There was no difference in detection proportion between cabins of symptomatic (15%, 28/189; cycle quantification [Cq], 29.79-38.86) and asymptomatic cases (21%, 28/131; Cq, 26.21-38.99). No SARS-CoV-2 virus was isolated from any of the samples. Transmission risk of SARS-CoV-2 from symptomatic and asymptomatic patients may be similar and surfaces could be involved in transmission.
Keywords: COVID-19; Diamond Princess; SARS-CoV-2; cruise ship; environmental sampling.
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