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The Importance of Clean Air: COVID Safety

The scientific community shares the view that SARS-CoV-2 is airborne: it is transmitted through invisible particles containing the virus that can travel through and remain in the air for extended periods of time. Controlling airborne transmission is therefore critical to containing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping
each other, our families, our elderly, our schools, and our work spaces safe. The good news is that securing clean air is something we can do. By taking action to maintain clean indoor air, we can keep businesses functioning without interruption, enhance the safety of healthcare settings, and in combination
with other measures
, aid in the sustained revival of safe social and economic life, which have been devastated by the pandemic. Clean air requires the employment of air quality monitoring, ventilation, air filtration, fresh air circulation, and limiting occupancy to achieve safer indoor environments.

1. Measure CO2 levels to gauge the amount of exhaled air in an indoor space. In the absence of air filtration, indoor CO2 levels should not exceed 800 PPM, or 1000 PPM if HVAC or HEPA filtration is used. Place CO2 monitors in public spaces to make values visible.

2. Enable mechanical or natural ventilation and/or air cleaning devices (filtration) to improve air quality and air circulation. Keep windows open whenever possible, and introduce air purifiers with true HEPA filters that are appropriate for the size of the indoor space (usually you’ll want to get from 6 to 12 Air Changes or more per Hour in a room). DIY solutions are effective, affordable alternatives you can implement to enhance indoor air quality.

3. Limit indoor occupancy to reduce individual risk when CO2 levels exceed the recommended limits in the presence of filtration.

4. Encourage the use of masks, social distancing and remote options for work and learning.

LISTEN!📢 Watch/listen to WHN’s Long COVID Symposium recording for discussions that examine the impact on patients, society, labor markets and productivity, and the future of our health.