School District Eyes HVAC System in COVID-19 Cases
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4 May 2021 – Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial staff »
The central role of HVAC systems in preventing the spread of the coronavirus has become apparent over the past year. As a result, many maintenance and engineering managers have improved and refined the operation of HVAC components to protect building occupants. Unfortunately, the performance of one school’s system apparently shows how crucial this role is.
At least eight second grade students in the Lower Merion School District in Pennsylvania and two fully vaccinated parents have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Philly Voice.
District officials said they are investigating whether the HVAC system at Penn Valley Elementary School may have played a role in classroom transmission. There is no evidence of transfer outside that class.
The district’s surgery department inspected the room and found that a manual damper in the ductwork above the ceiling was closed too far, expelling only about 30 percent of the maximum amount of fresh air it should have vented into the classroom.
Dan Hounsell is Senior Editor, Facility Market.