WASHINGTON, D.C.—June 30, 2020—The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate has established the Probabilistic Analysis for National Threats Hazards and Risks (PANTHR) program to strengthen customer engagement within the homeland security enterprise. The program seeks to align chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) hazard awareness and characterization activities to provide timely, accurate, and defensible decision support tools and knowledge to stakeholders. As part of these efforts, DHS recently released two SARS-CoV-2 calculation tools that may be useful to cleaning and restoration professionals.

  • The Estimated Airborne Decay of SARS-CoV-2 Tool — This tool estimates how quickly SARS-CoV-2 decays in the air under a range of temperatures, relative humidity, and UV index. The data for this tool comes from an article published on June 11, 2020 in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
  • The Estimated Surface Decay of SARS-CoV-2 Tool — This tool estimates how quickly SARS-CoV-2 decays on surfaces under a range of temperatures and relative humidity. The data for this tool comes from an article published on May 20, 2020 in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

With these SARS-CoV-2 calculation tools, users can see how changes to the environment affect how quickly the virus deteriorates, which enhances our understanding of the conditions that require increased caution and the conditions that can speed inactivation of the virus.

PANTHR continues to work on characterizing SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. “The work being done will provide insight regarding how long the virus can survive on surfaces, the potential for those contaminated surfaces to infect additional individuals, and the ability of various disinfection technologies to clean these surfaces to prevent further infection/transmission,” explained Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA. These insights will be of utmost importance to cleaning and restoration professionals as we continue to implement best practices for disinfection based on the most up-to-date scientific understanding of SARS-CoV-2.