New Covid Plan Tackles Air Quality
Earlier this month, the U.S. government released a new Covid plan for protecting Americans against the SARS-COV-2 virus and its variants. In 96-pages, the National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan lays out a strategy for protection, prevention, treatment, and preparedness. It also provides guidance for reopening schools and moving the economy forward as vaccinations and testing increase.
New COVID Plan
The new Covid plan lays out four main goals for dealing with the ongoing pandemic. The federal government also details ways in which schools, business owners, and public buildings can access technical and financial support.
The four key goals of the new Covid Plan are:
1. Protection and Treatment
The plan stresses the need for testing and increasing the vaccination rates even as the number of vaccinated citizens surpassed the 215 million mark.
2. Preparing for New Variants
The plan acknowledges the likelihood of new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. By collecting, sharing, and analyzing data, the federal government can better understand and monitor these variants.
3. Preventing Shut Downs
Through a combination of funding and increasing vaccination rates, the government will work to keep schools and businesses open to prevent another economic shutdown.
4. Leading the World in Vaccination Efforts
The U.S. has a goal of leading the world in vaccinations. Toward this end, the United States has committed to providing 1.2 billion doses to other countries at no charge.
The New Covid Plan Tackles Air Quality
For facilities managers, the new COVID plan also recognizes the importance of maintaining safe indoor air quality. Towards this goal, the government will provide a Clean Air in Buildings Checklist. This comprehensive list helps buildings improve air filtration and ventilation. It also provides technical assistance to schools on the state and local level as well as for tribal governments. This is in addition to the funds already available through the American Rescue Plan which is essential for schools with outdated HVAC systems.
The plan also includes an update to the OSHA’s workplace guidance with the goal of giving employers more tools for ensuring worker safety. This includes support for vaccinations, high-quality masks to protect immunocompromised workers as well as improving ventilation.
New Covid Plan for Improving Ventilation
Effective ventilation reduces the aerosol spread of viruses. Therefore, improvements to ventilation lower risk. Ventilation strategies work toward this goal of lower transmission. The Clean Air in Buildings Challenge included in the new COVID plan calls for building managers and business owners to improve ventilation and air filtration. Due to Pure Air Control Services’ nearly forty years of experience helping facilities managers maintain healthy indoor building conditions, this is an area we excel in.
Visual Inspections and Sample Testing
The first step towards meeting the IAQ goals of the new COVID plan is the HVAC Hygiene Assessment. This process gauges the impact of the HVAC system on IAQ. It includes visual inspections and sample testing. Our EDLab assesses these samples to determine the presence of fungi, bacteria, and viruses such as SARS-CoV-2.
Cleaning and Disinfection
Cleaning and disinfection of HVAC systems and components provide another way to create healthy indoor air quality. For example, Pure Air Control’s HVAC coil cleaning system tackles dirt and debris in the coil and air handling. Using high-pressure steam heated to temperatures up to 350° F, PURE-Steam pushes particles through the coil after which they get removed with a HEPA vacuum. This method, certified by the Green Clean Institute, restores the AHU to near factory specifications.
Another effective tool in the fight against virus spread is our hygiene duct cleaning. PURE-Duct disinfects interior spaces as well as the air conveyance ductwork. Using EPA-registered disinfectants this method breaks up debris deep within the system and removes it with an industrial-strength vacuum system equipped with a HEPA filter. Additionally, the PURE-Decon system removes 99.9 percent of microbes and pathogens using electrostatic DEP sprayers and misters. This method coats surface areas where traditional sprays do not reach.
Monitoring Indoor Air Quality
A building is only as safe as current environmental conditions allow. Therefore, 24/7 monitoring of temperature, relative humidity, total volatile organic compounds, CO2, and other gasses helps maintain safe indoor environmental conditions. As a result, using data provided in real-time, a remote team in our EDLab can react to potential problems as they occur.
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