Scientists have created a new model for predicting the risk of COVID-19 infection in offices and classrooms that use CO2 Evaluate the ventilation effect.
As more UK workers return to their offices and regular schooling continues, a new paper published in the journal Indoor and Built Environment predicts the risk of COVID-19 aerial transmission in these environments. It details the developed model. Occupancy It changes throughout the day.
Models developed by researchers at Imperial College London, University of Cambridge, and University of Leeds use monitored CO2 (((carbon dioxide) And occupancy data to predict the number of people who are likely to be infected with asymptomatic but infectious colleagues.
Release CO2 Exhaling increases CO levels2 Within the room, it is associated with higher occupancy and lower ventilation. High level CO2 Therefore, it can provide an important warning signal to building managers to identify areas of inadequate ventilation.
You can then make changes, for example to improve ventilation or change worker attendance patterns to reduce occupancy. This model shows that halving office occupancy can reduce the risk of airborne infections by a factor of four.
Importance of good ventilation
The lead author of the study, Dr. Henry Barridge of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial, said: By using carbon dioxide levels as a substitute for exhaled breath, our new model can assess fluctuating exposure risk as people come and go.
“Our work emphasizes the importance of good ventilation at work and school. The model is like SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID by managing ventilation and occupancy levels in common spaces. It shows that the risk of aerial infection by various viruses can be controlled-19. “
The application of the infection model to date has shown that most workers in well-ventilated open-plan offices are less likely to infect each other through airborne particles, but if the space is poorly ventilated, Or if the worker is involved in the necessary activities, the risk is greater, for that matter.
for example, model We predict that each infected person can infect another 2-4 people in a well-ventilated but noisy call center. If the infected individual is a “superspreader,” the risk may also increase.
There is no silver bullet
This study was co-funded by PROTECT COVID-19 National Core Study and UK Research and Innovation. The PROTECT Study on Infection and the Environment is a UK-wide research program that provides a better understanding of how SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted from person to person and how it changes in different settings and environments. ..
Professor Andrew Curran, Chief Scientific Advisor and Leader of PROTECT Research at Health and Safety Executive, said: And in schools, there are achievable steps that can be taken to reduce this risk and promote a safe return.
“Ensuring proper ventilation is an important factor and proper use of tools such as CO.2 Monitoring helps building managers better understand themselves. ventilation The system and how they are performed for each activity that takes place in space.
“But the aerial route is just one of the three known transmission routes for the COVID-19 virus. The risk of human-to-human and surface-borne transmission at close range should also be assessed and related measures should be taken. All activities that have been applied and identified for risk. For most companies, the COVID-19 control strategy is: dangerous Rating — No silver bullet. ”
Henry C. Burridge et al, Predictive and retrospective modeling of aerial infection risk using monitored carbon dioxide, Indoor and construction environment (2021). DOI: 10.1177 / 1420326X211043564
Imperial College London
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