Parkin Principal, David Driscoll, has been a member of SLCAN (https://slcan.ca/) since its inception in 2013. Sustainable Labs Canada is a volunteer organization of Canadians interested in ensuring that we have sustainable labs in our communities. SLCAN presents monthly webinars on topics of interest to the public and private sectors with an interest in academic, clinical and research labs, sustainability experts, and lab design teams. On May 6, SLCAN sponsored a virtual session hosted by Thomas Smith, President and CEO of 3Flow. Thomas presented an informative session on An Aerosolized Pathogen Response Plan for Indoor Environments.
David had the following observations after the session:
When people return to the workplace while COVID19 is still spreading in the community, they tend to be concerned about the ventilation in those spaces. Thomas explained that, since the potential source of the infection is coming from an infected individual who is in the space, the ventilation air above the ceiling is extremely unlikely to be a source of the virus. The ventilation in the room will be circulating the aerosolized droplets expelled by the infected person until they fall to the floor and become unviable. Anyone in that room may be exposed to these. The installation of HEPA filtration units in the space may be able to trap some of these droplets and reduce the amount of time that they are being circulated; however, if you are speaking to the infected person, or if you are between the supply air diffuser and the return air grille, you are likely to be exposed—no matter how good the ventilation system is.