Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more than 3.5 million cases and 245 thousand deaths worldwide as of May 6, 2020. Determining the extent of the presence of the virus on public surfaces is critical for understanding the potential risk of infection in these areas. Objective: To evaluate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA on public surfaces in a densely populated urban area in Brazil. Design and Setting: A total of 101 samples were collected from different surfaces in public places in the region of Belo Horizonte with the highest number of COVID-19 cases. Samples were collected near the hospital and public transportation areas using sterile swabs, and then submitted to nucleic acid extraction and genomic detection and quantification by one-step qPCR. Results: Seventeen of the 101 samples tested positive (16.8%) for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, including samples from bus stations/terminals, public squares, and sidewalks, including those near hospitals. Conclusions and Relevance: Our data indicated the contamination of public surfaces by SARS-CoV-2, especially near hospital areas, highlighting the risk of infection for the population. Constant monitoring of the virus in urban areas is required as a strategy to fight the pandemic and prevent further infections.