As we continue to figure out how to navigate life in a pandemic on a personal level, many business owners are working on a similar problem, looking for solutions that will allow a safe return to day-to-day operation. For owners of restaurants, bars, theaters, music venues and other spaces that cater to large groups indoors, the problem is especially tricky, since the conditions that allow their businesses to thrive – having a space full of people – are exactly the type of environments we’re advised to avoid.
There have been glimmers of hope however, with business owners across the country coming up with creative ways to tweak their layouts and service models to allow a safe return to business, albeit at a reduced capacity for now. One tool that every business owner should be weighing as part of their overall strategy is how an updated air filtration or air purification system can assist in their effort to provide a safe environment for their patrons.
Can COVID-19 spread through airborne particles?
This has been a very popular topic of discussion, and because this virus and the research into it is so new, findings, and the conclusions they influence, are consistently evolving. For the last few months we’ve been operating under the idea that our greatest chance of contracting the virus was from being in direct proximity to someone with the virus, who then coughs or sneezes and expels viral particles into the air. Or by touching a surface on which infected particles have settled. Hence all the hand washing and surface wiping.
New research from an international group of over 200 scientists recently submitted to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other governing bodies this past week suggests that the virus can actually travel on smaller particles than previously thought, making airborne transmission much more of a possibility than previously acknowledged and planned for. These findings are still in the process of being evaluated, but with such a large contingent of researchers from different countries returning similar findings, it is certainly a possibility worth giving more serious consideration. After all, it will affect how we combat the virus moving forward, especially for indoor businesses concerned with the safety of the air in their facilities.
How do we minimize the airborne spread of the coronavirus?
The wearing of masks remains one of the best strategies for preventing particles that may contain the virus causing COVID-19 from entering the air around us. In public places, this is especially true. For indoor businesses, in addition to requiring patrons to adhere to mask guidelines issued by local health authorities, the implementation or upgrade of an air filtration system to deal specifically with the new pandemic threat at hand is a very smart step to consider. These systems have been proven to remove a variety of harmful pathogens and particles from the air.
Can an Air Filtration system remove virus-infected particles from the air?
While air filtration systems should not be viewed as a primary or sole line of defense against coronavirus, the answer is yes. Air purification and air filtration systems are proven to remove a significant percentage of particles in the air, including particles that may carry the coronavirus.
This is how it works: ventilation systems equipped with HEPA-rated filters (High Efficiency Particulate Air ) have been shown to capture 99.97% of particles at 0.3 microns and above. But these are not the only particles that these filters remove from the air. HEPA filters also filter out a percentage of smaller particles, it’s just that studies thus far are inconclusive on what percentage of these smaller particles the filters can remove. These smaller particles include the ones that likely carry the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
COVID-19 particles are about 0.125 microns in diameter; while a properly functioning ventilation system will not remove all particles this size potentially carrying the new coronavirus, it can reduce the number of particles present and improve overall air quality. Like masks, it’s another step to take in reducing the overall risk within your building or place of business.
At Green Air, we are committed to providing exemplary service and doing all we can to improve the quality of the air around you, whether at home, work or otherwise. If you are a business developing a plan for getting back to what you love, give us a call today and let’s work together to make it happen as safely as possible.