Reducing your risk of exposure to COVID-19
Much has happened since our last post on COVID-19, so we’d like to take this occasion to provide some updates, and more importantly, some peace of mind for our customers.
When the COVID-19 epidemic first emerged, it was unclear as to how it was being spread so easily. People were not only buying masks in huge quantities, but were using latex gloves, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and washing their hands at record rates.
We now know that the virus is primarily spread through person-to-person contact, in the form of respiratory droplets spread by the contaminated person by coughing, sneezing or talking. When these droplets land in the nose or mouth of another person, or that person inhales the droplets into their lungs, they will most likely be infected. There is also evidence that these droplets can be spread by a person who is not even showing symptoms.*
However, we also now know there are significant steps we can take to prevent the spread of the virus, and to keep ourselves and our families safe.
First and foremost, it is important to follow stringent hygiene practices to avoid the spread of virus droplets that you may have been in contact with. These practices include frequent washing of hands, using hand sanitizer with 60% or higher alcohol content, and avoiding touching your face, eyes and nose at all times.*
However, avoiding the inhalation of airborne particles is of primary importance when dealing with COVID-19. Social distancing is imperative, which means avoiding contact with people outside your immediate household. Social distancing means maintaining at least 6 ft. or more between you and the other person. While this is easy to do outdoors, indoors brings and entirely new set of challenges.
Fall is approaching, and with the cooler temperatures, we will all be moving indoors again. How can we protect ourselves in our own homes, especially since many areas are “opening up?”
Due to the particulate size of the COVID-19 virus, many home HVAC air filters are not equipped to catch such tiny particles, often compared to the particulate in cigarette smoke. There are, however, steps you can take if you want to improve your indoor air quality.
Air Cleaners, either whole-home or portable, are the highest level of protection against airborne particles. Equipped with HEPA filtration technology, they provide the highest level of filtration available to the homeowner.
However, upgrading to HEPA technology might not be within everyone’s reach. In that case, it’s prudent to look into the highest-rated MERV air filter that your system can accommodate. Highly-rated MERV filters are often used in hospitals, nursing homes, labs, and other areas where clean air is of the utmost importance. Choosing an air filter with a MERV rating in the 13-16 range will provide filtration for particulate comparable to smoke, certain bacteria, paint pigments and insecticides. While not proven, it is thought that this level of filtration could significantly reduce the risk of the COVID-19 virus being spread in the home.
If you are unsure about what type of air filter would be best for your current system, or you would like to explore other air purification options, please go to http://www.filtershipping.com or call us at 815-568-9300. Stay well!
Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov