Emergency Response for the emerging COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic
Pure Air Control Services has decontamination protocols that address both the occupied space and HVAC system that can be used as Coronavirus solutions.
Since 1984 we’ve been an indoor air quality and data driven company with a strong focus on the relationship between the building envelope, HVAC system and occupant well-being. Throughout the years Pure Air Control Services has developed innovative engineered solutions and improved best practices for effectively tackling IAQ and HVAC issues head on. We continue to do so to this day.
The Coronavirus challenge facing us is no different. We encourage and can help all facility/risk managers to develop a proactive plan to keep their building disinfected. As well as an emergency plan for decontamination should an outbreak occur.
How We Can Help: Coronavirus Solutions for the Indoor Environment
Pure Air Control Services has a dedicated Building Remediation Sciences division to undertake engineered solutions for decontamination Best Maintenance Practices (BMP). More comprehensive and effective protocols have been developed for this challenging issue based upon the situation, and condition and/or use of the building.
Primarily these varying levels of remediation use a proprietary combination of our PURE-Decon, PURE-Steam HVAC/Coil Cleaning and PURE-Duct Cleaning services.
Engineered Coronavirus Solutions
Environmental Testing for Coronavirus
EDLab provides environmental verification & clearance testing for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 on high-touch surfaces and frequently trafficked areas within buildings. This is done with a combination of surface swab sampling and RT-qPCR analysis to look for the RNA fingerprint of the virus. Results typically take between 5-7 days, but can be done in as little as 1-2 days with a STAT fee. More information can be found in the PDF below.
PURE-Decon is a suite of services for the disinfection of the indoor environment that utilizes EPA registered sanitizers to effectively kill bacteria, fungi and viruses.
PURE-Steam is a comprehensive, deep cleaning of the entire AHU, especially the coils. This valuable service provides improved IAQ and performance.
PURE-Duct is a complete and comprehensive, indoor air quality driven air conveyance system cleaning service with a special focus on HVAC components within the ductwork.
Technical Approaches for Coronavirus Environmental Cleaning
A proactive measure that can be routinely scheduled/performed. It is comprised of our hand-held PURE-Decon service that utilizes an electrostatic charged EPA Registered Disinfectant for Emerging Pathogens (DEP) which is sprayed on high touch surfaces.
Decontamination for the occupied space and HVAC system with containment. Level II includes our PURE-Decon atomized DEP treatment of the indoor environment and air conveyance system (ductwork). It also provides for the sanitization of the Air Handling Unit (AHU) and coils with light version of our PURE-Steam Process.
Decontamination for the occupied space, HVAC system and ductwork with containment. Level III includes everything performed under the Level II protocol but also includes a PURE-Decon topical cleaning. Level III environmental topical cleaning consists of HEPA vacuuming and then spraying and/or wet wiping surfaces with an EPA registered sanitizer.
Note: Level III topical cleaning DOES NOT include toilets, showers, interior of cabinets and desk drawers, dishes, canned foods, refrigerators, towels, linens, curtains, computers, electronic equipment, any kind of stock (e.g. office supplies, merchandise, books folders, etc.) or wall decorations.
Decontamination for the occupied space (more inclusive), HVAC system, as well as PURE-Duct cleaning of ductwork, VAV terminal boxes and reheat coils. . Level IV provides all protocols listed in Level III with a more thorough topical cleaning THAT DOES include computers, electronic equipment, any kind of stock (e.g. office supplies, merchandise, books folders, etc.), wall decorations (e.g. picture frames, posters, artwork, etc). The books and sensitive items will be cleaned via laminar flow chambers.
Decontamination for the occupied space (most inclusive), HVAC system and ductwork with containment. Level V provides all protocols listed in Levels I-IV with the most thorough topical cleaning THAT DOES include toilets, showers, interior of cabinets and desk drawers, dishes, canned foods, refrigerators, towels, linens, and curtains, etc.
For more detailed specifications please contact us and provide us with important information on your building location, condition, square footage and HVAC equipment data so we can expedite the response.
Coronavirus RNA Testing
Coronavirus Resource Guide
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. It creates pneumonia-like symptoms such as fever, coughing, sneezing and shortness of breath or breathing difficulties. The virus is transmitted by tiny droplets that travel through the air by coughing and sneezing. Then it enters the lungs to infect the person. The virus also spreads through contact with infected droplets deposited on high-touch areas such as phones, computer keyboards, desktops, paperwork, doorknobs, faucets, etc. and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes.
Recently a novel strain of Coronavirus (COVID-19) was reported that had not previously been identified in humans. This strain is zoonotic, meaning it is transmitted between animals and people.
While there is not yet a COVID-19 vaccine for human infections, these viruses are an enveloped virus which means they can be killed with EPA approved disinfectants used in Coronavirus solutions.
How Long Can it Live on a Surface?
Scientists from the Greifswald University Hospital and Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany, recently compiled information from 22 studies from two of the most recent outbreaks: severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
The compiled study was published in The Journal of Hospital Infection as “Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents” J. Hosp. Infect. 2020
The study concluded:
“Human coronaviruses can remain infectious on inanimate surfaces at room temperature for up to 9 days. At a temperature of 30°C [86°F] or more, the duration of persistence is shorter.”
How Does it Impact Buildings?
Because the virus is spread person to person, the occupied space is a particularly susceptible area of transmission and further spreading. This is especially true for shared office spaces, classrooms, student housing, and public spaces like retail stores, airports, and event venues, et al.
Coronavirus can residually contaminate a building in two ways:
First, by droplets from an infected person being deposited or settling on surfaces in the occupied space. The amount of time the virus can remain infectious depends on a number of factors including surface substrate, presence of a food source, ambient temperature and relative humidity.
Second, the droplets can enter into and be distributed by the building HVAC system. Much of the same stimulus that effects surface longevity of the virus is likely true for the HVAC system. Furthermore, many studies have looked at the HVAC system’s connection and role in the spread of microbes into the occupied space.
Overall, a Coronavirus outbreak in a building will be extremely disruptive to occupant well-being and organization operations. As always, it is recommended that Operation and HR managers educate building occupants on the personal hygiene best practices outlined by the CDC and WHO, and make sure staff or students who think they are infected stay home and seek help.
Managing COVID-19 in Facilities Video
April 2, 2020 – 50 Minute Webinar
Managing COVID-19 in Facilities
Presentation Slide Deck
Coronavirus Solutions for Buildings Video
March 19, 2020 – 60 Minute Webinar
Coronavirus Solutions for Buildings
Presentation Slide Deck
More Helpful Resources
ASHRAE’s Coronavirus Resource Page
CDC Coronavirus Resource Page
WHO Coronavirus Resource Page
Johns Hopkins Interactive Map
Coronavirus Safeguards Article
Understanding EPA Disinfectants