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A coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a global pandemic and associated morbidity and mortality resultant from COVID-19. As a result of efforts to control direct (person to person) and indirect (contaminated objects, surfaces, indoor air) transmission of the virus, various interventions have been evaluated. Studies were conducted to evaluate the efficacy of commercially available chlorine dioxide (CD) products to reduce viral loads on PPE (face masks) and surfaces using a novel dry gas release intervention. The efficacy of CD slow release 30-day sachets was tested on N95 face masks inoculated with human coronavirus OC43 in suspension. One sachet was placed with an inoculated mask in plastic resealable bags. Three trials were completed using the original sachet where a mask and sachet were placed into a plastic bag for 13 hours per sachet age of 1 day, 14 days, and 30 days. The amount of CD generated during a 13-hour treatment period was 0.30 mg. The nominal concentration of CD was estimated to be 317 mg/m3. All three tests demonstrated at least a 99.91% reduction of viral loading in the mask versus a non-treated control. Efficacy of CD dry gas fast releasing pods (Ultrashok) for fumigation was also tested in a 1344 ft3 closed room. Two pods were placed in the space and CD surface virucidal efficacy was tested in three locations of the room after 1 hour and 2 hours of dwell time. The estimated nominal peak concentration was 15 ppmv in the room. The one-hour exposure saw a >99.91% OC43 reduction on surfaces and the two-hour exposure resulted in a >99.997% OC43 reduction on surfaces versus a non-treated control. These results indicate dry CD is highly effective against human coronavirus. CD was 99.91% effective for eliminating human coronavirus OC43 in both sachet and capsule fumigant form using both fast and slow release mechanisms. Rapid fumigant application is suitable for contaminated rooms, ambulances, emergency vehicles, and many types of PPE, most particularly porous PPE materials. The gaseous state of CD allows for rapid diffusion and transfer of the virucidal stable free radical to all surfaces of PPE and indoor areas that would favor virus survival. Additionally, this work suggests CD can be effective at levels with significant margins of safety (little to no exposure and rapid degradation of residuals) providing minimal public health risks associated with the use of CD.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.