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The ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force has released new guidance to address control of airborne infectious aerosol exposure and recommendations for communities of faith buildings.
An infectious aerosol is a suspension in air of fine particles or droplets containing pathogens such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus that can cause infections when inhaled. They can be produced by breathing, talking, sneezing and other as well as by flushing toilets and by certain medical and dental procedures.
ASHRAE’s Core Recommendations for Reducing Airborne Infectious Aerosol Exposure concisely summarize the main points found in the detailed guidance documents produced by the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force. They are based on the concept that ventilation, filtration and air cleaners can be combined flexibly to achieve exposure reduction goals subject to constraints that may include comfort, energy use and costs.
“This guidance outlines a clear approach for lessening the risk of infectious aerosol exposure for building occupants that can be applied in a wide range of applications, from homes to offices to mobile environments such as vehicles and ships,” said William Bahnfleth, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force chair. “ASHRAE’s Core Recommendations are based on an equivalent clean air supply approach that allows the effects of filters, air cleaners, and other removal mechanisms to be added together to achieve an exposure reduction target.”
Specific recommendations include the following:
The task force’s Communities of Faith Buildings guidance offers recommendations on conducting worship services under epidemic conditions.
“The intent of the Communities of Faith guidance is to offer those who operate and care for buildings used for worship a plan for implementing short- and long-term HVAC strategies to reduce the possibilities of transmission of the SARS-CoV2-2 virus. The document also helps communities move toward a new 'normal' operation after this public health emergency nears an end” said Rick Karg, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force member.
Recommendations for Communities of Faith include the following:
To view the complete ASHRAE Core Recommendations For Reducing Airborne Infectious Aerosol Exposure and Communities of Faith Building guidance, visit ashrae.org/COVID-19.