• The Coronavirus in the Urban Built Environment (CUBE) project seeks to develop environmental sampling as a spatially-resolved method for monitoring COVID-19 in congregate settings such as long-term care homes (LTC), universities, public schools, and day-cares.
  • We collect samples by swabbing floors; then, the swabs are tested for COVID-19 using an RT-qPCR assay developed by DNA Genotek and/or a novel CRISPR-based device.
  • Currently, we are focused on facilities located in Toronto, Ottawa, and Sault Ste. Marie.

Long-Term Care Homes Study

Study Locations

Our research team is currently monitoring 36 buildings in Toronto, Ottawa, and Sault Ste. Marie, including 10 long-term care homes, 13 schools and day-cares, and 6 university buildings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click an FAQ to reveal the answer.

Why do you swab the floors?

We swab floors to pick up any SARS-CoV-2 RNA (the genetic material of the virus) that we can then detect using laboratory-based genetic methods. The aim of our study is to develop this technique as a means to monitor the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in congregate settings (e.g. schools, daycares, long-term care homes, workplaces, etc.).

How long will you be swabbing our facilities?

Most facilities are swabbed once or twice weekly for a number of months.

When will we hear about the results?

Study coordinators will review results with site leads during the course of the study. Results of the analysis will be made publicly available when the study is complete.

Can you get COVID-19 from the floor? Should we be cleaning our floors more often?

The current scientific consensus is that COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through aerosols. It is highly unlikely for an individual to become infected by COVID-19 directly from floors."

What institutions are you affiliated with?

Our research team has members affliated with The Ottawa Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Mt. Sinai Hospital, University of Ottawa, Carleton University, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and DNA Genotek.

Who is funding the study?

The CUBE study has received funding from CIHR, NSERC, The Ottawa Hospital Academic Medical Organization (TOHAMO), University of Ottawa, Carleton University, and DNA Genotek.