While we continue to practice social distancing & safer at home policies during the coronavirus pandemic, a day will come where the world returns to a new and different normal. There is now an increased awareness about disease transmission, surface contamination, health risk factors & personal space. In fact, the upcoming July 2020 issue of peer review journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases, includes a research letter titled, “COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with Air Conditioning in restaurant, Guangzhou, China, 2020.” The findings show that from January 26–February 10, 2020, an outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus disease in an air-conditioned restaurant in Guangzhou, China, involved 3 family clusters. The airflow direction was consistent with droplet transmission. Knowing this, what kind of steps can be taken to reduce risk in restaurants & larger buildings? It is likely that building owners & managers will look to develop new cleanliness & security protocols as part of the reopening process.
AirTek Indoor Air Solutions, a division of Alliance Environmental Group, has 30 years of experience in providing complete air system cleaning for commercial properties & facilities including hospitals, commercial buildings, hotels, industrial facilities & marine air systems. Our expertise in indoor air quality places us in a position to help our clients prepare for the day when employees can return their offices & our economy begins to heal from the effects of COVID-19.Learn More
Experts believe the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes & the droplets with the virus fly into the air from their nose or mouth. Research also shows that the virus may be transmitted via surfaces if you touch a contaminated surface – one that someone has coughed or sneezed on – & then touch your nose, mouth or eyes.
Studies show that the virus can persist in the air for up to three hours & for 2 to 3 days on stainless steel & plastic surfaces. In research published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, researchers found that a related coronavirus that causes SARS can last on inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days. In an office building, that’s a lot of surface areas to think about – door handles, elevator buttons, conference rooms, shared office & kitchen space, etc.
““You have a lot of people in a relatively small area, which aids the spread.””
Joe Allen, HARVARD T.H Chan School of public health
One of the reasons they are so good is that you have a lot of people in a relatively small area. So you think about droplet or surface contamination, you have a lot of people entering the same space & touching the same surfaces repeatedly over time. So that aids in the transmission.
On the airborne side, in mechanically ventilated building systems, almost all of them recirculate some amount of air. And what that does is it allows the air near someone who is coughing & sneezing & emitting aerosols to be picked up by the system and transported to other areas of the building. There are vivid examples of this from the SARS outbreak in apartment buildings where this exact thing happened.
One way to cut that off when you have a recirculated air supply is to have high-efficiency filters, or certainly upgraded filters from what is typically in a building, which will only capture a small percent of viral particles.
These high-efficiency filters do a much better job so you limit that transmission from room to room.
AirTek Indoor Air Solutions, a division of Alliance Environmental Group, has 30 years of experience in providing complete air system cleaning for commercial properties and facilities including hospitals, commercial buildings, hotels, industrial facilities and marine air systems. Our expertise in indoor air quality places us in a position to help our clients prepare for the day when employees can return their offices and our economy begins to heal from the effects of COVID-19.
Here we will take precautionary measures, as there has been no known exposure within the location
This level involves a more indepth cleanup than level 1, as the location is considered to have possibly been exposed to the virus.
Here we will provide the most intense level of cleanup as the location has a confirmed/actual case.
As coronavirus is known to spread person-to-person, one must consider the possibility of the droplets entering, settling & traveling in the HVAC system too. Proper maintenance, excellent sealing & upgraded filters – along with professional HVAC maintenance – is more important than ever to mitigate the spread of any particulates captured in the filters.
Our crew will create a barrier to keep the public out while they work. Using proper protective equipment, the crew will first go through with an airless sprayer & spray all the large items (empty tables, chairs, walls, and floors). Plastic may be used to cover sensitive items while spraying, these areas can later be done by hand.
Our crew will remove anything directly affected from the person/persons infected. Cloth materials, papers, personal items, work phone & items person may have touched frequently/possibly coughed & sneezed on are placed in a biohazard bag & container for disposal. We’ll salvage desks & other large, hard service furniture.
A second crew will use spray bottles of EPA-approved disinfectant & microfiber towels, knocking down puddles of disinfectant left from pre-disinfecting step. This will be followed by in-detail cleaning & misting of sensitive areas & unsprayable items such as computers, phones, inside of drawers & personal items.