HPAC Magazine

ASHRAE Updates Airborne Transmission Guidance

The ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force has been developing guidance for the control of airborne transmission.

April 6, 2021   Logan Caswell

(Adobe Stock)

New information has been released from The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Task Force offering a clear, updated statement on the airborne transmission of the COVID-19 virus in buildings.

The statement, which is to help tackle the virus reads:

“Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is significant and should be controlled. Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, can reduce airborne exposures.”

The statement replaces last April’s statement which indicated airborne transmission was “sufficiently likely,” and airborne precautions should be taken. At that time, both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC), contended that transmission of SARS-CoV2 was by droplet and fomite modes, not airborne. Both organizations have since acknowledged the risk of airborne transmission indoors.

 “This may seem like a small step, but we feel it is important to leave no doubt about our position, given the muted support for ventilation and filtration as important tools in the effort to stop the pandemic, from some organizations that should be leading more strongly,” said ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force Chair William P. Bahnfleth.

The ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force has been developing and disseminating guidance for the control of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 since its formation last March.

 If you wish to view the complete airborne transmission statement visit ashrae.org/COVID-19.

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