The Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) has recently revised coronavirus guidance to state that it spreads through airborne transmission. This has been a long-awaited announcement by healthcare and scientific communities which have pushed the CDC for months to make such an acknowledgement. The CDC revision states the virus can sometimes spread through airborne particles that can “linger in the air for minutes to hours” and among people who are more than 6 feet apart, but adds that it is “much more common” for the virus to spread through larger respiratory droplets that are produced when somebody coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes. It has been known through studies on other airborne diseases that respiratory droplets can evaporate to a very small size, becoming what is known as “droplet-nuclei” which can remain suspended in the air for hours or longer. If thesesmall droplets contain infectious viral material they are then of concern to susceptible individuals who may unknowingly inhale them. This now adds your Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) system to the list of potential safety measure which help ensure proper social distancing, considering that air-cleaning may be able to help remove airborne elements of concern from the indoor air. While CDC’s recommendations remain the same, suggesting that people can protect themselves from the virus that causes COVID-19 by staying at least 6 feet away from others, wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth, and washing their hands frequently, this recent announcement puts focus on maintaining the effectiveness of your facilities HVAC system as an additional resource to help keep people safe and healthy while inside buildings.
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