Ventilation Takes Center Stage in Protecting Patients, Staff

December 28, 2020

Just as there is no longer debate about the efficacy of masks, social distancing, sanitization and handwashing in controlling the spread of COVID-19, there is no longer debate about the central role that HVAC systems play. While scrutiny of these systems and their performance has only become serious in recent months, facility managers and infection control specialists now concur that maximizing the performance of air filtration and other HVAC operations is essential. And researchers are providing the evidence for these actions.

Researchers in New Delhi and Rome recently reported that it is particularly important to develop an appropriate strategy to protect healthcare workers from airborne transmission, according to Health Europa In their report, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the aerosol experts put forward recommendations to reduce airborne spread of the virus.

While no single measure exists that can stop the airborne spread of the virus completely, they say it is important to control indoor air and combine different measures to achieve reduced spread. Other recommendations include keeping a constant supply of fresh air in the room, using air purifiers if ventilation is not possible, and using humidifiers to keep the relative humidity indoors at 40-60 percent – or, alternatively, using portable air purifiers.

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