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TRC Offers First Commercial Air Test for the Virus that Causes COVID-19

LOWELL, Mass. – TRC Companies (“TRC”) is rapidly advancing indoor air quality testing with the development of the first commercially available air test specifically for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This test could be a critical tool for facilities that strive for both safety and productivity as they return to work in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

TRC is a leading provider of engineering, consulting and construction management solutions, fueled by innovative technology. TRC offers multiple solutions that address COVID-19 challenges, including industrial hygiene services, emergency data management and sensor-based air quality monitoring, analytics and consulting.

With input from our laboratory partners, TRC has advanced the SARS-CoV-2 air testing method based on a need that TRC saw in the market to offer an advanced and specific evaluation of indoor air quality.  Air samples are collected and then analyzed using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technology to specifically identify SARS-CoV-2 genetic material.  RT-PCR is a proven technology that was also used for SARS CoV-1 (SARS) detection in the early-to-mid 2000s.

“RT-PCR allows us to test specifically for the virus that causes COVID-19,” said Jeff Burdette, Senior Vice President of Air Quality at TRC. “RT-PCR allows us to collect a very small sample of viral genetic material from the air and then rapidly and quantitatively copy it so that we can determine the concentration present in the air. TRC has measured chemical compounds and physical parameters to assess air quality for over 60 years. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve worked to provide measurement data that provides actionable information about viral residuals in the air and on surfaces. TRC’s credibility and market presence has enabled us to partner with leading laboratories and research institutions to advance these technologies at an accelerated pace.”

TRC leads the cleaning and disinfection market with verification programs based on the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) test procedure that provides a generic indicator of biological residue. Unlike the ATP test procedure, RT-PCR testing specifically informs end users about the presence or absence of SARS-CoV-2 virus residues. The sampling method relies on proven approaches to collect air samples, which are then shipped to a laboratory for RT-PCR analysis. TRC’s laboratory partners offer expedited turnaround time so that clients can rapidly access actionable data.

Although the scientific community is still working to fully understand virus transport mechanisms, it is understood that the virus is airborne and that an air detection method for SARS-CoV-2 is an important part of an overall resiliency strategy for a facility. A program of onsite ATP sampling, combined with air sampling and surface swab sampling with rapid turnaround RT-PCR analysis, can provide businesses and organizations with an additional layer of assurance that cleaning and disinfection protocols are effective.

“Our advanced test procedures will help commercial, manufacturing, production and industrial facilities get back to and remain at work,” said Burdette.
For more information on air testing, contact Jeffery Burdette, Air Practice Leader and SVP at This offering is part of a broader set of COVID-19 resilience offerings that TRC delivers to enable organizations to reduce the risk, for more information about TRC’s solutions to help businesses address challenges related to COVID-19, please visit

About TRC Companies
A pioneer in groundbreaking scientific and engineering developments since the 1960s, TRC is a leading consulting, engineering and construction management firm that provides technology-enabled solutions to the power, infrastructure, environmental and energy markets. We serve a broad range of public and private clients, steering complex projects from concept to completion to help solve the toughest challenges. TRC is ranked #20 on ENR’s list of the Top 500 Design Firms in the United States. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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