| Subscribe for news
Feb
12th

[UPDATE] Is HVAC a risk in quarantine hotels?

By Sarah Bailey, Senior Consultant

As further details emerge from investigations of COVID-19 infections at quarantine hotels, our advice must evolve from our December 2020 post.

We continue to believe that adequately designed and operated HVAC systems in hotels are viable for border protection with a capacity that would not be at all possible in healthcare facilities. While not designed for the purpose of quarantine, the hotel system is what we have and we must continue to bring Australians home. However, not all hotels will have suitable air handling systems, and hotels should be investigated by a properly qualified air conditioning professional, before use as a quarantine hotel to choose those that are the most suitable.  There’s no evidence yet of infection from room to room via the HVAC systems. Despite the current issues, hotel quarantine has done an excellent job so far of protecting Australia.

The infections that have occurred are of course concerning, and will, we hope, concentrate the minds of quarantine operators on the HVAC design – specifically that the corridors can form a return air path from the rooms – so extended occupation of a corridor, for example by a security guard, increases risk of infection. More detailed commentary on HVAC design in this story. The use of proper PPE for those in potentially infectious spaces should also be investigated – a surgical mask is not PPE, and will not provide adequate protection. Those who possibly have exposure to the virus by working in a hotel should be provided with proper, fit tested P2 or P3 masks.

More detail in this excellent radio interview comparing hospital and hotel conditions, in particular air change rates. Procedures for infection prevention and control, as well as HVAC operations will undoubtedly be improved following the latest investigations and increasing understanding of infection pathways.


Recent Posts

The Impact of Indoor Environment Quality on Cognitive Function

13th Dec

As we head into 2022, a year marked by the great migration back to the office environment, there is much focus on indoor air quality. But ho...

COVID-19 Ventilation Optimisation: Guidelines for Australian Schools

07th Dec

Comprehensive guidelines for schools in Australia to mitigate the risk of transmitting COVID-19 through ventilation systems....

Ventilation in Schools, Kindergartens and Early Childcare Centres

13th Sep

Victorian authorities are reported to be considering ventilation monitors in schools....

View All
QED FEATURED ARTICLES

How IEQ Impacts Employee Productivity

We believe tenants should engage with landlords on the indoor environment quality with the same level of importance at which they consider the energy consumption of a building – it will improve their bottom line faster!

White Papers

December 13th 2021

The Impact of Indoor Environment Quality on Cognitive Function

As we head into 2022, a year marked by the great migrat...

September 07th 2021

Using Ventilation to Reduce the Covid-19 Infections within Hospitals

Using Ventilation to Reduce the Covid-19 Infections wit...

April 06th 2020

COVID-19 Cleaning & Cleaning efficacy

A simple guide on what you need to know about cleaning ...

View More

Latest News

December 07th 2021

COVID-19 Ventilation Optimisation: Guidelines for Australian Schools

Comprehensive guidelines for schools in Australia to mi...

September 13th 2021

Ventilation in Schools, Kindergartens and Early Childcare Centres

Victorian authorities are reported to be considering ve...

August 10th 2021

Sampling for cytotoxic drugs contamination in healthcare facilities

Our team recently conducted sampling for cytotoxic resi...

View More

Need more information? We’re here to help you...

Get in touch