Spawned by new Covid cases and deaths related to the highly contagious Delta variant, vaccination rates are on the rise. And yet, there are more than 80 million Americans who are eligible to receive the vaccine who haven’t.
A year ago, most of us could not have envisioned that Covid would still be a constant presence in our lives. The summer began with a drop in cases in most areas of the country but then Delta tore through communities far and wide. As we approach October 2021 there are more than 92,000 patients battling coronavirus in hospitals across the US, with an average of roughly 2,000 deaths per day due to the virus. (1)
These are daunting statistics, made more bleak considering that students are back in school; a breeding ground for Covid-19. And while some companies allow their employees to continue working from home, many required their staff back in the office by September 1st. With breakthrough infections becoming more common and the millions of unvaccinated at large in schools and businesses, how can individuals be protected against contracting the illness?
Constantly evolving their recommendations along with the facts scientists are uncovering, the CDC now advocates a layered approach to prevention, as no one thing will eradicate the virus. Based on their recommendation, there are five practical measures that have been proven to slow the rate of infection: (2)
- Vaccinations – now readily available throughout the US, receiving two doses (with an added booster 8 months later), remains the number one public health strategy to avoid contracting the virus.
- Indoor Masking – because there continue to be unvaccinated members amongst us, it is recommended that all children and at-risk adults mask while indoors.
- Regular screening and testing – when knowingly in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with Covid, get tested.
- Ventilation – when at all possible, open windows and if that is not feasible, ensure good ventilation in your HVAC systems.
- Continual cleaning and disinfecting – it is widely acknowledged that Covid is an airborne transmitted disease and droplets often land on surfaces touched by others.
Ideally, the best defense would be for everyone to simply stay home. Except we are a busy and modern society and businesses, like schools, must continue to operate. But the constantly changing Covid forecasts and recommendations are dizzying and many school administrators and industry owners are at a loss as to how to protect their students and workers.
OSHA recommends that businesses Plan, Prepare and Respond to the threat of Covid-19 by implementing the measures above (3), and in some cases, employ an additional option: Air Filtration. It didn’t take a pandemic for our government to acknowledge that poor Indoor Air Quality can make people sick. The EPA noted a variety of ailments that can be caused by dirty air, including but not limited to respiratory illness, allergies, headaches, fatigue, brain fog, and dizziness, just to name a few reactions people have to pollutants in the air. (4) Filtering the air and cleaning out impurities is a crucial step in combatting the transmission of coronavirus. Because Covid-19 and the infected droplets that can hang in the air pose a deadly threat, consider the use of portable air cleaners with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters in spaces with high occupancy or limited ventilation. (5) After all, the most effective control measure for preventing illness is the elimination of contaminants and pathogens. (6)
Air cleaners and HEPA filters are designed to draw in polluted air and filter out impurities. Air cleaning and filtration can help reduce airborne contaminants, including particles containing viruses. Portable air cleaners (also known as air purifiers) may be particularly helpful. By itself, air cleaning or filtration is not enough to protect people from exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. But when used alongside the CDC recommended layered approach to Covid control, air filtration can be an effective means of protecting people while indoors.
Our portable HEPA filter air cleaning systems come in a variety of sizes and configurations, the filtration and recirculation capabilities ranging in room sizes as small as your typical hospital room to multi-use areas up to 2000 sq. ft.