Can I prevent the spread of COVID-19?
May 1, 2020
Does COVID-19 Change Air Ventilation & Duct Cleaning Requirements?
Here at Safeflow Ventilation tour uppermost priority is and always has been the safety of our staff and clients, for the past 6 weeks we have taken time along with most other UK businesses to minimise our activity and learn more to try and understand how COVID-19 may impact both our clients and our business.
The current COVID-19 situation is an ever moving one, government and health professionals like WHO (World Health Organisation ) are releasing new information daily.
Find below some information, from our perspective about your current ventilation and duct systems that you may find useful in regards to COVID-19 and the possibility of this virus being spread via your building or office ventilation system, this information is based on the best advice available at the time of writing, to keep up-to-date about this ever changing situation consult the government and any NHS websites.
Do Air Ventilation System Spread Coronavirus?
In recent newspaper articles air ventilation systems have been under scrutiny as many articles have suggested that coronavirus could be spread via the air duct systems. Most recently in China the Centre for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) linked an outbreak in a restaurant to its air conditioning system – this was after 4 different families dining in the same restaurant became infected with coronavirus – it was detected that only 1 member of a family of 4 was infected at the time but not showing any symptoms.
After further investigations it was concluded that the virus probably did not spread via the air ventilation system, however it is more likely that air currents caused by the ventilation system caused the droplets in the air travel further than they normally would – causing the disease to spread across distanced tables in the restaurant. These findings are backed up by the knowledge we have about other viruses such as influenza.
This information above are the findings of Dr. Maher Balkis, associate staff physician of infectious diseases at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Should I clean my ventilation system to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
All of the research we have access to suggests that there is absolutely no evidence that cleaning your air ventilation system will stop the spread of coronavirus.
It seems that there is more danger of disease passing from people touching surfaces.
How COVID-19 spreads
It is confirmed that COVID-19 spreads by someone exhaling or coughing, this causes the release of tiny droplets of infected fluids which land on nearby objects this could be a sink, kitchen side or utensils etc. People can then become infected with coronavirus by touching these items then touching their eyes or their mouth. If a person is one metre away then they could catch it by breathing in the droplets hence why the governments have introduced the two metre distancing rule.
Safeflow’s advice for the current Coronavirus situation
Our first and main advice is to stay home and keep safe, if your business in open and operational then ensure you are taking the advised safety measures, social distance, encourage hand washing, supply hand sanitiser and keep up-to-date with government guidance.
Our advice is for our clients to always be as hygienic as possible, for all different sectors of business we have created checklists and information charts which will help you with this, refer to our sectors section of the website.
To maintain a healthy building environment it is key that you keep your ventilation systems cleaned to industry standards at all times, even more so as a preventative measure at this time. If you have had a positive diagnosed case at your premises then ensure you have you systems and premises sanitised in accordance with best practices.
Often cleaning your business or premises duct work / ventilation system requires areas to be closed for periods of time. Our advice would be to consider getting your inspections / cleans complete now whilst lots of business premises are closed, this will ensure minimum disruption and ensure once your business is ready to re-open you are in the best possible hygienic situation.
These businesses should also consider a deep clean of the premises alongside any ventilation cleaning as this is known to be where the virus is most active and most commonly spread from.
Once businesses are back up and running the relevant organisations will relate guidelines to help with the best advice, we imagine it will make most sense for businesses especially Restaurants, Hotels and other public places to limit the use of their air ventilation systems since this type of business rely on a lot of air being stirred around - if possible make use of natural air flow.
Also maintain a high hygiene and de-contamination schedule - you can find more information about this on our website in the sectors area.
If you wish to speak to us about helping to keep up the hygiene levels within your business or premises caller on 0330 107 2687