Ventilation, Filtration Help Stop COVID-19 Spread

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Experts agree that open windows can be a good way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 inside a house. Kathrin Zegler/Getty Images
  • Officials recommend that people who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 isolate in their homes for at least 5 days.
  • They also suggested that people should open their windows and use air filtration systems to reduce the chance of spreading the disease in their home.
  • These precautions are also good practice for workplaces according to experts.

We’ve come to the point with COVID-19 where a positive test no longer means someone will become seriously ill, especially if they are fully vaccinated.

Which doesn’t mean the disease isn’t serious.

Experts sayFor example, people who have been exposed and are vaccinated can go grocery shopping or to other public places provided they wear a mask.

However, what should a person do if they have tested positive and don’t want to spread the illness among members of their household?

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control states on its website: “At home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, or wear a well-fitting maskWhen they are unable to be with others. People in isolation should stay in a specific ‘sick room’ or area and use a separate bathroom if available. Everyone who has presumed or confirmed COVID-19 should stay home and isolate from other people for at least 5 full days.”

The agency recommends that people wear a mask for at least 5 days when they are around others at home or in public.

“People confirmed to have COVID-19 or are showing symptoms of COVID-19 need to isolate regardless of their vaccination status,” the agency says.

Experts suggest that you also consider other steps, such as opening windows.

“Ventilation and advanced filtration both serve as important tools to reduce the risk of aerosol exposure indoors,” said Stephen MurphyPh.D. Assistant Professor at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans.

“It makes sense if you think about it and is a large part of why outdoor exposure risk during COVID-19 remains much less than indoor settings,” Murphy told Healthline. “Bottom line: Remove as much of the particulate matter as possible with ventilation and filter out additional aerosols with higher MERV-rated filters in the HVAC system when possible. These MERV 13 or higher filters are tighter woven filters able to more efficiently ‘trap’ the viral aerosols, further mitigating but not removing the risk.”

Murphy stated that HEPA filters work just as well as portable air purifiers.

“Even those sold off the shelf at large chain stores are quite effective at removing these smaller aerosol particulates,” he noted.

“Placing these devices near the isolated, infected individual‘s closed room or dedicated area in the home would be helpful in reducing the aerosol risk across the rest of the home,” Murphy added. “Using the HEPA filter does not translate to congregating safely together in the home, but it does mitigate the exposure risk if basic at-home isolation protocols are adhered to, such as those found on CDC’s websites.”

Tony AbateHealthline spoke to a certified indoor environmentist, who is also the vice president and chief technological officer at AtmosAir solutions in Fairfield Connecticut. He said that people should be on the offensive against the new coronavirus.

“There’s been a lot of attention on HEPA filters and UV lights as a COVID deterrent, and while they can be effective, they remain a passive technology,” Abate said.

Abate said bi-polar ionization HVAC devices are a better option because they are an “active” technology emitting ions into the air.

Jen LyonShe is a paramedic and has been a safety and health supervisor for film and television productions. She told Healthline she’s been ventilating cast trailers, sets, and large soundstages since the pandemic started.

“If you don’t have an air purifier, then open a window and use two fans,” Lyon said. “One [fan]The window is located in the middle of the room. One point inside the room to the window and one out the window to draw out the air. The idea is to move the exhaled air from the people in the house outside before someone inhales it.”

“If you only have one fan, open a window and put the person between the fan and window so the exhaled air goes directly out the window,” she added.

The CDC also offers a number of other services. guidelines involving indoor ventilation.

Lyon stated that these safety practices should not be limited to the pandemic.

“We know from wearing masks, increased handwashing, increased ventilation, and increased hand sanitation that we have lessened the incidence such as cold and flu transmission for the past 2 years,” she said. “We should adopt these practices as a norm.”

Source: Health Line

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