Here are the top four strategies to reduce COVID risk in buildings

July 20, 2022 – A short new report from the Lancet COVID-19 Commission lists the first four strategies that every building owner and operator should pursue to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The report focuses on lowering the amount of virus-laden aerosols in indoor air by improving ventilation and filtration.

The report was put together by the Commission’s task force on safe work, safe school, and safe travel, chaired by Joseph Allen, associate professor of exposure assessment science and director of the Healthy Buildings program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The report recommends:

  • Verify that building systems—including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning—are performing as intended.
  • Maximize the amount of outdoor air that comes into buildings, either through the HVAC system or open windows.
  • Upgrade air filters to those with ratings of MERV 13 or higher (“MERV” stands for “minimum efficiency reporting value”).
  • Supplement with portable air cleaners where needed.

Read the full report: The First Four Healthy Building Strategies Every Building Should Pursue to Reduce Risk from COVID-19

Learn more

Joe Allen’s focus on clean indoor air (Harvard Chan School news)