What Scientists Are Learning About the ‘Airborne Coronavirus’ – And What You Can Do to Protect Your Business

City Wide Facility Solutions
Published on July 15, 2020

The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) published new guidance on Thursday, July 9 indicating the coronavirus may linger in the air indoors – especially crowded places – causing a higher risk for individuals to inhale air particles that are wafting through the room.

The new guidance comes on the heels of 239 scientists who approached the W.H.O. with evidence that the novel coronavirus may have the ability to be transmitted through droplets floating in the air (known as aerosol transmission) that can stay in the air.

READ: Public Restrooms May Look Very Different Because of COVID-19

“There have been reported outbreaks of COVID-19 reported in some closed settings, such as restaurants, nightclubs, places of worship or places of work where people may be shouting, talking, or singing,” it now states on the W.H.O. website, under aerosol transmission. “In these outbreaks, aerosol transmission, particularly in these indoor locations where there are crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected persons spend long periods of time with others, cannot be ruled out. More studies are urgently needed to investigate such instances and assess their significance for transmission of COVID-19.”

How Your Building Can Combat Potential Airborne Viruses

Dr. Robert Gladder, an emergency physician at the Lennox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that face masks are still strongly encouraged as we learn more about how this virus is transmitting itself.

“Since aerosolized droplets (containing viral particles) may remain in poorly ventilated rooms for minutes to several hours, the importance of wearing a mask while indoors should strongly be considered,” he told Health Line.

But he also mentions how “poorly ventilated rooms” can be a major problem in itself, which is why indoor air quality should be a key component when it’s time for a facility to reopen.

READ: CDC Clears Up Confusion After Statement That COVID-19 ‘Does Not Spread Easily’ by ‘Touching Surfaces or Objects’

Last month, we published a blog that centered around this topic for our clients, where we quoted the American Lung Association saying:

“Effective ventilation may also help keep bacteria, viruses, and other pollutants out of the indoor air. Research shows that air flow and ventilation can affect how diseases spread indoors. The more stagnant the air is, the more likely diseases are to spread.”

Given the new guidance by W.H.O. this week, it’s another reason why many facility owners may want to have their HVAC and ceiling fan systems checked before welcoming back occupants.

We Are Here to Help Check Your Air Flow Systems

We understand there are many more protocols for facility owners to follow these days given the pandemic’s developments, but you don’t have to face this alone. Contact your local City Wide in the United States or Canada to find out how we can help walk through your building to make sure you’re taking the best measures to protect your occupants.