CDC Recommends Ventilation Interventions to Prevent Spread of COVID

The CDC has recommended in a report to use physical layers of safeguards to reduce the spread of disease and lower the chance of exposure. The following list contains tools to effectively reduce the risk, but not eliminate it completely. 

  • Increase outdoor air ventilation
  • When weather conditions allow, increase outdoor air circulation in buildings by opening windows 
  • Use fans to increase effectiveness of open windows, by exhausting indoor air to the outdoors
  • Decrease occupancy in areas where ventilation cannot be increased
  • Increase airflow to occupied spaces when possible
  • Reduce or eliminate HVAC air recirculation
  • Improve central air filtration by inspecting filter housing and racks, ensure filters are properly installed 
  • Ensure restroom exhaust fans are functioning and operating at full capacity
  • Inspect and maintain local exhaust ventilation in areas such as kitchens, cooking areas, restrooms, etc.
  • Consider high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration systems to help enhance air cleaning
  • Generate clean -to-less-clean air movement by re-evaluating the positioning of supply and exhaust air diffusers
  • Consider using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) to additionally inactivate COVID. This is a great option for areas where sufficient ventilation is limited

These options can be costly, but are guaranteed to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 through the air. Each intervention should be evaluated in accordance to other guidelines including room occupancy, facemask compliance, and community incidence rates.

Cost estimates:

  • No cost: opening windows, inspecting exhaust ventilation, repositioning outdoor air dampers
  • Less than $100: using fans to increase effectiveness of open windows,
  • $500 approximately: adding portable HEPA fan/filter systems
  • $1500 approximately: adding upper room UVGI