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Everybody is asking some form of the same question: “When will we reopen?”
These are all valid questions as the world grapples with the short and long-term implications of COVID-19, a novel virus that we still don’t know much about. Every day, leading public health institutions and experts discover new information about the coronavirus that affects how we perceive the ongoing pandemic.
One of the more recent and concerning discoveries is that COVID can spread through the air as aerosolized particles. In other words, you don’t have to sneeze or cough to make someone else sick. The coronavirus can spread simply by people talking, singing, or even breathing!
The World Health Organization recently announced that COVID-19 is likely airborne in aeresolized particles, though further research is necessary.
On top of that, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases found that viral aerosols can remain airborne for up to three hours, which means that HVAC systems have the potential to facilitate inner-building transmission. This knowledge has significant implications for many types of organizations.
Even if people remain socially distant, they can still get sick as long as HVAC infrastructure fails to eliminate airborne pathogens. For obvious reasons, this poses major problems for schools, health facilities, and businesses where people congregate indoors.
Experts agree that effective ventilation is crucial in enclosed environments, but only if air purifiers and filters are specified appropriately. At minimum, air purification solutions require high-quality filters, rapid air change, and ongoing observation to mitigate concerns related to airborne transmission.
The CDC and other standards organizations have put forth guidance for specific types of environments, such as hospitals and nursing facilities. Some experts suggest going beyond the CDC’s guidance in non-healthcare settings (e.g., classrooms, offices, exam rooms) and increasing air change rates to 6-10 air changes per hour (ACH) or more.
The CDC recommends certain air exchange rates for high-risk environments, but all environments require sufficient exchange rates to purify the air. For more info, click here.
Complying with such recommendations while ensuring everything works as intended isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. It takes careful design, engineering, and review. In a normal long-term environment, municipalities would create code standards supported through inspections which can confirm that buildings have sufficient air purification and air exchange rates. But we don't have the luxury of time to set up these kinds of structures.
Business owners, school administrators, physicians, and facility managers must take whatever steps necessary to provide safe spaces. This much is obvious. Fortunately, many are already moving in this direction with portable air purifiers and air purification services that serve as a proactive defense against COVID.
But here's the catch: Just buying an air purifier or upgrading your HVAC filter isn't enough. How will building occupants know that the air purifiers sufficiently filter, purify, and exchange air? How will they know that filters are appropriately sized, changed on a regular schedule, and include necessary disinfectants? Who will ensure that air purifier stay online before, during, and after occupancy periods?
The issue if reopening is not only one of cleanliness, but of confidence. People need to know that their organizational leaders are taking the initiative to protect them. And thus, organizational leaders need a way to prove that their buildings are safe. Once they can do that, people may come back willingly.
Parents wants assurance their children are safe before schools reopen.
This is where remote monitoring technology comes into play. Organizational leaders can use remote monitoring on air purifiers to make sure they are working they way they need to in order to provide those safe spaces that occupants expect.
With remote monitoring technology, facilities managers can ensure air purifiers are on before, during, and after occupancy periods. Remote monitoring solutions can also track pressure drops and confirm that air exchange levels are sufficient to reduce viral load. Occupants can even track indoor air quality through remote monitoring. Air purifiers with remote monitoring provide the proof that leaders need to give future building occupants peace of mind.
Picture walking up to a storefront and seeing a sticker on the door: “Our air is actively purified. Scan this QR code to check the building’s air purification status NOW.” How much better would you feel about entering that building?
Or imagine an online portal that employees could use to check air exchange rates in their buildings whenever they wanted. Think of how much more comfortable parents would be if they could remotely monitor air purification in their children’s classrooms!
Air purification remote monitoring is the key to successful reopening.
Remote monitoring is a win-win for everyone: organizational leaders can reopen businesses, schools, and healthcare facilities safely, and occupants can be sure they are breathing clean air when they step inside.
At WellAware, we believe in the power of remote monitoring to connect people to the information that matters. We’ve partnered with Purafil, a leading manufacturer of virus-destroying air purifiers, to develop a smart air purification service, PureAware™.
PureAware™ is the only remote monitored air purification service which is safe for humans, removes up to 99.98% of airborne pathogens, and filters up to 99.97% of PM0.3 particulate matter. Our service provides guaranteed air filtration uptime and awareness services so that business owners can protect their people at all times. With portable filtration cabinets, industry-leading filters, and remote monitoring technology, PureAware™ destroys coronaviruses, filters the air, and proves its effectiveness with data. As an added bonus, the service includes automatic delivery of replacement filters when needed and comes with a user-friendly mobile app for everyone to use when they need reassurance.
PureAware™ Smart Air Purification Service includes a mobile app where building occupants can check air purification status in real time.
Rather than make expensive HVAC upgrades or install experimental UV light treatment, companies can use PureAware™ to protect their buildings without having to pay exorbitant fees or service costs.
PureAware™ not only achieves the primary goal of keeping people safe, but also provides organizational leaders and occupants with proof that they have nothing to worry about in reopened buildings.
To learn more about our new PureAware™ Smart Air Purification Service, click here.
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