The status of the current Coronavirus outbreak and situation is constantly changing, with advice from medical professionals and the Government also constantly changing. Consequently, the guidance hereis the most up to date and accurate at the time of its writing. So we recommend you continue to check relevant Government and NHS websites for live updates to the situation as they unfold.
This article refers to the likelihood of an air conditioning system spreading COVOID-19 and some guidance forowners to mitigate the spread of the virus through their buildings ventilation systems.
Recent Media Reporting
The media has recently reported that there is evidence to suggest ‘the Coronavirus could be spread by air conditioning systems’. As we are already aware, all media stories around Coronavirus must be assessed with an element of caution and common sense. We already know air conditioning is used as an easy target at the time of an outbreak. One only has to look to the Legionella outbreak and the media reporting that air conditioning was to blame for its spread. This was reported by media outlets, despite the fact the bacteria cannot multiply in the type of air conditioning used in the United Kingdom. So again, we would advise caution and common sense in terms of such media stories around Coronavirus (COVID-19).
There are reports of viruses flowing though ventilation ducts. This reported research from Singapore suggesting “traces of the virus” being found “an air duct connected to the room of a patient”, where that patient tested positive for Coronavirus (COVOID-19). Important considerations that were completely omitted include the possibility somebody with Coronavirus touched the outlet grille and deposited some of the virus there. None of this media hysteria helps anyone in facing the reality of the situation or helps us make informed decisions.
Media coverage of Coronavirus and the risks associated with air conditioning must be assessed cautiously, as discussed. However, we must also be vigilant as always in terms of making sure regular maintenance and cleaning takes place. The regular cleaning of any ventilation system will ensure the risk of airborne contaminants can be significantly reduced, if not removed completely. Proper filtration and maintenance is essential to a clean ventilation system and at this time of Coronavirus (COVOID-19), ventilation systems must be cleaned in accordance with best practice. Forbuildings that do not have a confirmed cases of the virus, ventilation systems should none the less be cleaned thoroughly and maintained accordingly as a method of prevention.