How Are Healthcare Professionals Responding to the New SARS-CoV-2 Variants?
In December 2020, media around the world began reporting on a critical new twist in the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on genomic sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 samples collected over prior months, the U.K. government sounded the alarm that a particularly virulent strain of the virus was sweeping through the country. Many other nations moved quickly to shut their borders with the United Kingdom to contain its spread. Ultimately, it was too late: The virus had already moved far and wide – and new strains were emerging in other parts of the world, including South Africa and Brazil.
As the news spread, scientists rushed to answer critical questions: Are the strains more virulent (i.e., could they spread more easily); Are they more lethal, and would the current batch of vaccines against COVID-19 still prove effective?
At PDI, we were following the events closely and are cognizant of the fact that healthcare workers may be grappling with additional questions: How can hospitals prevent the new strains from spreading within their facility? Are the variants still susceptible to the disinfectants identified by the EPA as likely to be effective – or will their infection prevention protocols need an overhaul?
In January 2021, we conducted a survey of 100 healthcare professionals to understand their level of concern amidst all of the competing and immediate struggles. While 91% identified variants as a concern, more immediate day-to-day challenges needed to be addressed.
For example, 39% of healthcare professionals were “somewhat concerned” and 28% were “extremely concerned” about the efficacy of current infection prevention products and disinfectants against the new strains of SARS-CoV-2. While we are still learning more about the new variants, there is no evidence that the virus will behave differently to disinfection (or to our surface products). Because of this, we recommend healthcare professionals maintain all of their current infection prevention measures, such as environmental cleaning/disinfection, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and wearing of PPE, including masks, to reduce the risk of transmission.
Our customers are our number one priority. We continue to invest in our manufacturing to maximize customer access to a steady supply of disinfectants. Based on our survey, 93% surveyed found maintaining a steady supply of disinfectants to be “extremely challenging” or “somewhat challenging.”
Additionally, we understand how important it is to keep customers up to date on current EPA guidelines and other relevant infection prevention findings. In our survey, 92% said keeping up to speed with EPA guidelines was “extremely challenging” or “somewhat challenging.” Our online COVID-19 resource center provides access to the latest information,, as well as educational resources, including free online Continuing Education (CE) courses
We greatly appreciate the insights offered by the healthcare professionals that took our survey. We are always looking for ways to better serve our customers and this information will help target our support in the areas needed most.
Learn more about our survey findings here: