The ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force released an updated, unequivocal statement on the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in buildings:
“Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is significant and should be controlled. Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, can reduce airborne exposures."
This release replaces the April 2020 statement that said airborne transmission was “sufficiently likely” and that airborne precautions should be taken. At that time, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) contended that transmission of SARS-CoV2 was by droplet and fomite modes, not airborne. Subsequently, both have acknowledged the risk of airborne transmission indoors.
The ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force has been developing and disseminating guidance for the control of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 since its formation in March 2020.
To view the complete airborne transmission statement and other COVID-19 resources, visit www.ashrae.org/COVID-19 .