With the weather slowly dropping as we approach winter, the need to be indoors and have proper (and effective) air ventilation is growing increasingly important. Being in close contact with another person without the proper ventilation technique is the quickest and easiest way for the virus to spread.
The University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy states, “Engineering controls should ensure adequate air supply and exhaust vents and, in the case of partitions or curtains, secondary measures to maximize ventilation effectiveness, such as opening windows and doors.”
They urge that it is important for buildings that may not have good circulation such as “retail shops, offices, schools, restaurants, cruise ships, and public transport.”
Shelly Miller, an expert in indoor air quality at the University of Colorado Boulder says to look for open windows and to sense if you are feeling hot or stuffy, which may be a sign that there is not enough ventilation.
While the desire to eat at restaurants increases with the duration of COVID regulations, Miller also suggests “keeping your mask on until you have to eat at a restaurant and restricting your meal to about 60 minutes.”
The University of Minnesota’s CIDRAP also reports that while air recirculation may be energy-efficient, it may not be the best option to reduce the risk of COVID droplets.
“Air should not be recirculated, if possible, and air conditioning units should operate on 100% outdoor air,” CIDRAP says. “If disabling recirculation by closing recirculation dampers and opening outdoor air dampers isn’t possible, maximizing the outdoor air level and using filtering or ultraviolet in-duct irradiation of recirculated air can help.”
Some bullet points for this article:
- wear masks at all times unless you have to eat at an outdoor restaurant (limit eating time to one hour).
- air recirculation may not be the best option in reducing COVID droplets in the air
- always socially distance and stay six feet apart when possible.
- Open windows for clean air circulation