8 Steps to Reduce COVID-19 Airborne Transmission
Some Infections can be spread by exposure to virus in small droplets and particles that can linger in the air for minutes to hours. These viruses may be able to infect people who are further then 6 feet away from the person who is infected or after the person has left the space. Most of those transmissions occur within enclosed spaces.
1. Reduce Source of Transmission
If there is a pile of manure in a space, do not try to remove the odor by ventilation. Remove the pile of manure!
De-densify (less occupants).
Eliminate/reduce certain indoor activities (aerobics, singing, eating).
2. Require Masks Indoors
Depending on the materials and fit, up to an 84% risk reduction is accomplished when wearing mask indoors; if you need to take the mask off (e.g., lunch), have an outside lunch, have a quiet lunch.
3. Distance from Source
Maintain at least 6ft distance from others, 50 – 100 Mm particles can travel >6 ft (jet). Bigger droplets will fall.
Pour ventilated buildings elevate CO2 concentrations, pollutants and body odors increasing probability of respiratory infections.
Increase outdoor activities.
Increase outdoor air ventilation opening door air dampers as outdoor conditions permit.
If possible - some HVAC will not be able to handle it:
Upgrade to filtration medias that has a MERV 13-16 rating.
Supplemental HEPA Filtration (make sure noise and position are evaluated before any purchasing).
Replace filters per schedule and wear proper PPE.
6. Disinfect Air and Surfaces
Ensure proper training for some disinfectants and methods, or use professional services.
List N includes products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19, but it does not constitute an endorsement by EPA. Follow label instructions.
UVC Lights may cause skin and/or retina damage.
UVC Lights may generate ozone.
Foggers: aerosolized droplets require adequate PPE.
Electrostatic Sprayers: Not effective for soft surfaces.
Ozone: No people, animals or plants can be present during treatment.
7. Make Use of Time
Reduce extended time indoors.
Outdoor calm time after physical activity.
Allow rooms to “reset” (particle decay periods).
IAQ Management Training.
Training materials in format that everybody can understand (English, Spanish, others).
EPA, CDC and FDA training resources.
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Written by Jaime Badillo.