While the primary method of COVID-19 transmission is person-to-person through respiratory droplets, which are released when someone with COVID-19 sneezes, coughs, or talks, current data does not support long-range aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2, such as seen with measles or tuberculosis. Short-range inhalation of aerosols is a possibility for COVID-19, as with many respiratory pathogens, and short-range transmission is a possibility, particularly in crowded medical wards and in inadequately ventilated spaces. But even in the absence of definitive data, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has asserted that, “Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the air is sufficiently likely that airborne exposure to the virus should be controlled.”
So, while hand-washing with warm water and plenty of soap, along with surface-sanitizing and avoidance of close person-to-person contact are still the main methods to stay healthy, there are several other steps that building engineers can take to significantly minimize the risk of transmission.
America’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry is committed to offering solutions that can ensure the safest, healthiest possible indoor spaces for homeowners, school children and personnel, office workers, and those taking advantage of indoor recreational activities in shopping malls, movie theaters, and other venues.