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COVID-19 Environmental Surface Test Kit

Coronavirus Environmental Surface Test Kit


96 tests/kit

This product is on backorder. Orders placed today are estimated to ship in 3 weeks.


Detect SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus within facilities by swabbing hard surfaces like door handles, computers/mice/phones, desks, etc. Simple swab test gives results in under two hours.


  • Perform unobtrusive biosurveillance for COVID-19 exposure within facilities
  • Monitor efficacy of disinfection and decontamination efforts
  • Clear buildings post-exposure
  • Reassure customers that an effective Coronavirus management program is in place

Environmental Monitoring: The Proactive Approach to COVID-19

Environmental monitoring is the proactive approach to Coronavirus management which complements human diagnostic testing and contact tracing. There are two primary applications: early detection, and remediation.

Early Detection

COVID-19 symptoms can take up to two weeks to manifest. During this incubation period, asymptomatic individuals can spread the virus to dozens of others before learning they are infected. Many people never become symptomatic or ill enough to seek treatment, remaining unaware they have even been infected. Exposed individuals may have already infected others by the time they are notified of potential exposure through reactive contact tracing.

Environmental monitoring provides a more proactive alternative. As people become infected, they commonly spread the virus to their hands, which then spread the virus to objects such as door handles, PIN pads, bathroom stalls, grocery carts, computer mice, phones, etc. These objects are known as "fomites", or inanimate objects which carry and spread infections. Additionally aerosolized viruses settle onto horizontal services such as desks, tables, and floors.

By testing these environmental surfaces, facilities can monitor whether anyone inside them is likely to be infected, and take management action such as increased hygiene protocols, recommending diagnostic testing for workers, or surgical closures.


Once an individual is identified as infected with COVID-19, in addition to their isolation and treatment, a priority is to decontaminate and "clear" the facility, making it safe to re-open. Such remediation is nothing new—indoor air quality professionals routinely perform such disinfection for other threats such as molds. What is new is the ability to test for Coronavirus, and therefore to identify where remediation is needed, and demonstrate efficacy of disinfection efforts.

How it Works

Simple Kit

Chai makes biotechnology easy, and Chai's Coronavirus Environmental Test Kit is no exception. Every effort has been taken to simplify the process, so it can be performed by anyone, anywhere, in less than two hours. No lab or specialized scientists are required to run the kit.

The key Coronavirus test reagents, known as oligonucleotides, have been freeze-dried in reaction tubes for simple use and stability. All other reagents are provided, with simple instructions. Automated software is baked into Chai's Open qPCR instrument to make running tests easy. The kit uses positive, negative, and internal amplification controls to ensure reliable results, which the instrument software automatically interprets.

Simple Protocol
  1. Swab hard environmental surfaces.
  2. Place swab into One-Step DNA/RNA Extraction Buffer.
  3. Pipette extracted RNA and master mix into PCR reaction tube.
  4. Load into Open qPCR and enter sample names.
  5. Results will be displayed in about an hour.

Refer to user manual for complete protocol.

Technical Specifications

Limit of Detection290 viral particles/swab
Swab Recovery Rate (hard plastic)63%
Swab MaterialSynthetic fiber, sterile
Swab Storage ConditionsAmbient
Reagent Storage Conditions-20 ºC
Validated SurfacesPlastic, stainless steel, brass, rubber, ceramic
PCR Tube Size100 μL
Detection ChannelsFAM, HEX
Internal Amplification ControlSynthetic ssDNA fragment
Positive ControlSARS-CoV-2 N gene fragment
UNG Carry-over PreventionIncluded

Kit Components

Dry environmental transport swabs, sterile96 swabs
One-Step DNA/RNA Extraction Buffer20 mL
DNase/RNase-free water5 x 5 mL
DNase/RNase-free water0.5 mL
PCR Tube and Cap Strips15 x 8-well strips
Coronavirus Environmental Oligo Mix475 μL
Sahara One-Step RT-qPCR Master Mix with UNG1.1 mL
Cofactor Buffer65 μL
SARS-CoV-2 N Positive Control85 μL

Required Materials Not Supplied

Open qPCR Dual Channel, or equivalent qPCR instrument
Mini centrifuge with rotor for PCR tube strips
1.5 mL microcentrifuge tubes + tube rack
PCR tube rack
20 μL pipette + tips
200 μL pipette + tips


  • Do you ship internationally?

    Yes. If we don't have a distributor in your country, we service and ship kits directly. Contact us at and we'll help you find the best way to purchase kits and instruments.

  • Are the test kits compatible with instruments other than Open qPCR?

    Yes, the test kits work with instrument comaptible with the FAM and HEX fluorophores.

  • Why is the dual channel Open qPCR required?

    Chai's Coronavirus and COVID-19 test kits detect the SARS-CoV-2 target in channel 1, and utilize channel 2 for an Internal Amplification Control. This internal control is important for detecting PCR inhibition and preventing false negatives. As such the dual channel Open qPCR is required to run Coronavirus test kits.

  • What storage temperature is required for kits? What are the shipping conditions?

    Coronavirus kits ship on ice, and require -20 ºC storage.

  • How safe is it to ship the collected samples?

    Following sample collection, virus is immediately inactivated by inserting the swab into lysis solution, eliminating the need to transport live virus. Proper PPE is recommended during sample collection.

  • Does this really work? What data do you have?

    Chai has conducted an informal study of retail establishments around the San Francisco Bay Area. Coronavirus contamination has been found on the shopping carts and bathroom stall doors of multiple brand-name grocery stores, big box stores, home improvement stores, and member-only warehouse shopping club locations sampled during April 2020. Chai will be more formally publishing results shortly, as well as Chai's in-house validation studies.

  • How did you simplify the RNA extraction procedure?

    Chai has developed a one-step RNA extraction and stabilization procedure using a specialized buffer. The process lyses SARS-CoV-2 in minutes, while stabilizing the resulting RNA.

  • Can I use Chai's RNA extraction solution in my kits?

    Yes, Chai's one-step RNA extraction solution is available on an OEM basis, and may be purchased online.


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For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.