As children return to their classrooms amidst a bevy of conflicting COVID-19 information, finding ways to ensure their health and safety has become the number one priority for teachers and parents alike.
And if you find yourself asking, “How can we minimize their risk?” you’re not alone. Here is what our research suggests:
Understanding Lines Of Defense
First and foremost, it is crucial to understand that face masks act as the first line of defense in terms of mitigating the spread of COVID-19, rendering them an integral resource for keeping classrooms, students, and educational faculty safe.
“A mask helps contain small droplets that come out of your mouth and/or nose when you talk, sneeze or cough,” according to John Hopkins Medicine. “If you have COVID-19 and are not showing symptoms, a face mask reduces your chance of spreading the infection to others. If you are healthy, a mask may protect you from larger droplets from people around you.”
While masks are one method of defense, the second line of defense is to keep your exposure to airborne particles down in the presence of infected people. To do this, you can reduce the number of total particles and airborne viruses in any given classroom space with verified methods. This can be done using spot filtration techniques and InstaScope information.
Understanding How Proximity & Air Flow Affect Contagion
While it has largely become common knowledge that COVID-19 can spread through airborne transmission between people in close proximity, it’s equally important to understand the real-life applications and instances of such transmission so that we may further understand how to optimize air quality within learning environments.
Jensen Sang, a professor of engineering at Syracuse University and an expert in indoor air quality, has cited an instance of airborne transmission at a restaurant in Guangzhou, China as “one of the most convincing” instances of this phenomenon — in great part due to the patterns of indoor airflow.
Here, Sang encourages us not only to consider the proximity of the diners (who did not come into direct contact with one another), but also to research the role of ventilation in COVID-19 spread, as increasing ventilation may serve to enhance airflow patterns and reduce the aforementioned number of airborne viruses within a school setting.
Understanding The Role Of Ventilation
In recent decades, modern building designers have focused their efforts on eliminating air leakage and increasing overall energy efficiency. Thus, there is a newfound high reliance on ventilation systems to provide buildings with both fresh air and adequate exchanges of indoor air.
The problem? With lower ventilation rates, it may become more common for COVID-19 particles to become trapped, concentrated, and spread within a classroom or other indoor school area.
This is why President and CEO Michael Wetzel of Air Innovations — a firm that specialized in designing and manufacturing ventilation and air quality systems — recommends increasing the rate of air changes within a building in an effort to dissipate the particles faster. Opening classroom windows on appropriate days may also serve to dilute viral particles further.
That all being said, an effective way to understand the air quality within a classroom is would be to measure the overall volume of biological particulate matter in a room, particularly as classrooms see a high turnover rate of students entering and exiting throughout the day.
That’s why the InstaScope is an invaluable resource for those seeking to detect and identify any number of particles that are viral or biological in nature. This state-of-the-art technology offers its user the ability to test any given room numerous times over, as well as the ability to generate reports in real-time, equipping sanitation specialists and school managers with the ability to take appropriate action immediately.
To learn more about the InstaScope and how it can help you create safer learning environments, contact DetectionTek today by calling 720-410-7030 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!