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As reported last week, Health Canada recently revised its COVID-19 Guidelines to include reference to aerosol transmission.  Prior to last week, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) made no mention of aerosol transmission in federal recommendations.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in, urging the nation to “maintain vigilance” against further COVID-19 spread, saying "this situation is serious and now is not the time to let down our guard.”  The Prime Minister also pointed to increasing evidence of aerosol spread and urged Canadians to do everything possible to reduce outbreaks before the weather turned cold:

"Winter is coming. That means we're going to have to get into more enclosed spaces, we're not going to be able to open windows wide in rooms, ventilation is going to become much more important. We need to remember to be careful."

HRAI issued a public statement in response, letting the government and other stakeholders know that the industry is in a position to help.  Joe Muchynski, Arvin Air Systems, Chair of the HRAI Advisory Council on Indoor Air Quality in Commercial and Institutional Buildings (The Advisory Council) made the following statement:

“The Advisory Council is supportive of updated guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Canada that recognize the risk of COVID-19 transmission from aerosols. Ventilation, humidity control, air cleaning and filtration can provide important indoor environmental protections against the spread of harmful airborne contaminants, including potential transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. We recognize that measures to improve indoor air quality are among the key mitigation actions that Canadians can take in the environments where they live, work, learn and play to reduce the spread of the virus and other harmful pathogens.  Over the months ahead, we look forward to sharing advice with Canadians about how to optimize indoor air quality for the best possible health outcomes.”

The Advisory Council on Indoor Air Quality in Commercial and Institutional Buildings was established by HRAI to better understand, advise and respond to concerns about the spread of virus particles in the air in schools and workplaces.

For more information, contact Martin Luymes at 416-453-5899 or email mluymes@hrai.ca.