Key Research Question: Has There Been Documented Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Virus (Or Similar Viruses) Through Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems in Hospitals or Non-Hospital Settings?   [open pdf - 427KB]

From the Context: "[1] Respiratory viruses are believed to transmit over multiple routes and the relative significance between aerosol and droplet transmission may vary among pathogens. [2] The Public Health Agency of Canada (2020) and the World Health Organization (2020) consider the route of human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2 [severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2] to be predominantly via respiratory droplets or contact during close and unprotected contact, with a recommendation to use N95 respirators only in the context of aerosol-generating medical procedures. [3] A reported outbreak of COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] in an air-conditioned restaurant in Guangzhou, China that involved three family clusters was attributed to a longer range of droplet transmission, with the authors suggesting that was related to airflow generated by air conditioned ventilation but uncertainty over means of transmission remained. [4] University of Alberta researchers have received research funding from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research to examine how SARS-CoV-2 may be transmitted through airborne fine particles, and how its movement is controlled by current HVAC [heating, ventilation, and air conditioning] designs in non-healthcare settings. [5] There is concern about the possibility of promoting transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through HVAC systems inside and outside hospital settings."

2020 Alberta Health Services. Posted here with permission. Document is under a Creative Commons license and requires proper attribution and noncommercial use to be shared: [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0]
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