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Publication Detail
A post-occupancy study of ventilation effectiveness from high-resolution CO2 monitoring at live theatre events to mitigate airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Adzic F, Roberts BM, Hathway EA, Kaur Matharu R, Ciric L, Wild O, Cook M, Malki-Epshtein L
  • Publisher:
    Elsevier BV
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Building and Environment
  • Volume:
  • Article number:
  • Medium:
  • Status:
  • Country:
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  • Keywords:
    IAQ, Long-range transmission, Microbiology, SARS-CoV-2, Theatres, Ventilation
  • Notes:
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Mass-gathering events were closed around the world in 2020 to minimise the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Emerging research on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 emphasised the importance of sufficient ventilation. This paper presents the results of an indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring study over 82 events in seven mechanically ventilated auditoria to support the UK government Events Research Programme. Indoor carbon dioxide concentration was measured at high resolution before, during, and after occupancy to allow for assessment of the ventilation systems. Generally, good indoor air quality was measured in all auditoria, with average IAQ found to be excellent or very good for 70% of spaces. In some auditoria, spatial variation in IAQ was identified, indicating poor mixing of the air. In addition, surface and air samples were taken and analysed for the presence of bacteria by culture and SARS-CoV-2 using RT-qPCR in one venue. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected on a small number of surfaces at very low copy numbers, which are unlikely to pose an infection risk. Under the ventilation strategies and occupancy levels investigated, it is likely that most theatres pose a low risk of long-range transmission of COVID-19.
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