•   
  •   
  •   

Technology Could a century-old technology zap coronavirus in schools and offices?

03:40  27 july  2020
03:40  27 july  2020 Source:   bostonglobe.com

Coronavirus live updates: US hits 100,000 deaths from coronavirus as states continue to cautiously reopen

  Coronavirus live updates: US hits 100,000 deaths from coronavirus as states continue to cautiously reopen There are more than 5.6 million confirmed cases around the globe, with nearly 1.7 million in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University.As of the end of March, the U.S. had registered about 4,000 deaths. But the figure took a drastic upward turn in April, when the disease killed nearly 60,000 Americans, and has continued at a slower but still devastating pace.

Technology . After their elementary school closed because of the coronavirus outbreak, the brothers received their homework through a smartphone app. “If he doesn’t do better in school and doesn’t have anybody watching over him, just think of how bad things could get in the future,” Mr. Li

After closing schools to prevent the spread of the coronavirus , a handful of countries like Denmark and Japan have started reopening them. New safety measures range from keeping windows open for ventilation to spacing desks six feet apart and resuming classes for students of a certain age.

Discussions about building ventilation, if they occur at all, tend to revolve around stuffy offices or frigid conference rooms. But as workers tentatively head back to their offices and communities debate whether and how to reopen schools, a new concern has arisen: Could ventilation systems harbor and spread lethal coronavirus?

a bedroom with a bed and desk in a room: An ultraviolet light, upper left, was installed in a hospital room. Some researchers hope the decades-old technology might get its moment and be deployed in stores, restaurants and schools. © UVRESOURCES An ultraviolet light, upper left, was installed in a hospital room. Some researchers hope the decades-old technology might get its moment and be deployed in stores, restaurants and schools.

In Massachusetts, with its abundance of historic buildings and aging schools with decrepit heating and cooling systems, the quality of indoor air is suddenly a hot topic. Fueling the interest is a recent letter from 239 scientists to the World Health Organization saying evidence indicates that when people talk and cough, the virus is released in microdroplets small enough to remain aloft and pose a risk to someone farther away than 6 feet from an infected person.

Coronavirus updates: Florida sets new record in deaths but confirmed cases down; Infectious Diseases Society backs Anthony Fauci

  Coronavirus updates: Florida sets new record in deaths but confirmed cases down; Infectious Diseases Society backs Anthony Fauci New York will deploy testing and contract tracing teams to Atlanta. Hawaii extended its quarantine. Oregon to limit group gatherings. Latest news.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday in a joint conference with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms that his state would send testing and contact tracing teams to the city.

If a school has a suspected coronavirus outbreak - with two or more confirmed cases within 14 days, or an overall rise in suspected coronavirus sickness absence - teachers Schools will be asked to return "to a broad and balanced curriculum," Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told the Commons.

Will UK schools close over coronavirus ? She told of a "rising sense of panic" in schools as staff fear for their safety as more and more people get ill. Another teaching union, the National Education Union, has urged ministers to close schools , and said it would be advising members with underlying

Among their evidence was a study from China that suggested one person with COVID-19 infected 9 others sitting at nearby tables underneath air conditioning vents in a restaurant.

One approach to battling such airborne-spread of coronavirus that’s capturing attention is a century-old technology, known as germicidal ultraviolet air disinfection, or GUV, that zaps harmful airborne germs. In modern use, the lights are tucked inside air conditioning systems or mounted high above people’s heads near ceiling fans that draw the air up so the lights can disarm the germs.

Interest in ultraviolet light to fight disease dates to the 1800s, when researchers discovered that sunlight could kill bacteria. By the 1930s, researchers were experimenting with ultraviolet lights beamed into the upper air of some Pennsylvania classrooms. They found use of the lights significantly reduced cases of measles, one of the most contagious airborne diseases, compared with classrooms where the lights were not installed.

Juan Soto cleared to return following negative coronavirus tests

  Juan Soto cleared to return following negative coronavirus tests Soto tested positive for the coronavirus on Opening Day, and he has had several negative tests since. He was reportedly frustrated with the league’s testing process.Soto has tested negative for COVID-19 enough times for Major League Baseball to give him the green light, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Schools can apply for government-funded support through The Key for School Leaders and access one of two free-to-use digital education Organisations can use the EdTech Demonstrator Programme to contact a network of schools and colleges who are already using remote education technology

Iran is also closing schools and universities until early April. UK government says it is preparing for 'significant' spread of virus. An elderly person with underlying health issues has become the first person to die of the coronavirus in the UK, after being admitted to hospital in Berkshire.

The popularity of ultraviolet light to kill germs in hospitals and schools took off, and bread box-sized devices with the lights inside were installed near ceiling fans in many buildings. Unlike UV-A and UV-B ( the ultraviolet burning rays of the sun), the UV-C in germicidal light is a shorter wavelength. Still, it can harm eyes and skin, hence its installation near room ceilings and aimed up and away from people.

UV-C’s popularity waned decades ago with the rise of antibiotics and their ability to kill harmful bugs by popping a pill. Now, with few medications available to fight COVID-19, and a possible vaccine still months away, the technology is making a comeback.

“Six months ago, we weren’t even thinking of [ultraviolet light] for an office building,” said Eric Edman, a senior associate at BR+A Consulting Engineers, a Boston engineering firm. Before the pandemic, Edman’s designs for heating and cooling systems in Boston area hospitals and research labs often included ultraviolet lighting tubes installed in the buildings’ air handling systems to kill fungus on their cooling coils.

Bucs TE Cameron Brate reveals he had coronavirus

  Bucs TE Cameron Brate reveals he had coronavirus Brate said he is fully recovered from COVID-19 and encouraged people to donate plasma to help fight the virus in others who contract it. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Cameron Brate (@cambamgram) on Jul 29, 2020 at 6:13am PDT What does that have to do with Brady? Last month, Brady and several Buccaneers teammates got together for workouts despite the NFLPA’s medical director, Dr. Thom Mayer, advising players against it. Brady and his teammates continued to work out together, and Brady posted a quote on Instagram that appeared to be a response to Mayer’s advice.

This suggests schools and nurseries could act as hubs of Covid-19 transmission if current restrictions are lifted. A sustained and consistent fall in daily deaths from Coronavirus . There has been continuing speculation about when schools might reopen, and whether older year groups, including

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for parents, schools , colleges and universities: closures, exams, learning, health and wellbeing. Education and childcare. Guidance for teachers, school leaders, carers, parents and students. In England

Those pre-pandemic installations were not usually designed to disarm airborne germs but could typically handle up to 40 percent of such threats as air moved through the system. Now, clients are asking for beefed-up systems with more lights to quickly zap more bacteria and viruses.

Edman said he’s working on a UV addition to the air handling system at his own company’s offices in the WGBH-owned building in Brighton, for an estimated cost of about $60,000. Exactly how many other offices in Greater Boston already have installed UV-C, or are considering it, is an open question.

Dan Harris of APA HVAC Technologies, a Canton company that works with engineers and contractors, said many of his customers are hesitant to speak publicly about their company’s plans in any way that references COVID-19.

But school leaders are starting to discuss the approach. Tom Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, said a specialist from the state education department suggested UV-C lights for school heating and ventilation systems during a conference call Thursday with superintendents.

Michael Porter Jr. reprimanded by Snapchat for coronavirus comments

  Michael Porter Jr. reprimanded by Snapchat for coronavirus comments Michael Porter Jr. was reprimanded by Snapchat for his comments about a coronavirus “agenda."The Denver Nuggets forward answered fan questions on his Snapchat account Tuesday and shared his thoughts on the coronavirus and the government’s reaction to it. Porter said he believed the virus was being used as an opportunity to control people. Porter Jr. also shared that he never had been vaccinated.

Campuses have become ‘ghost towns’ as staffers depart – but many contractors still have to show up.

The government said it had prioritized primary schools over secondary schools (the British equivalent of middle school and high school ) in part because “there is moderately high scientific confidence in evidence suggesting younger children are less likely to become unwell if infected with coronavirus .”

“It’s the first I’d heard of it,” Scott said.

For older buildings without central air conditioning, the lights could be mounted in boxes far above people’s heads and rely on ceiling fans to pull the air up to the UV devices. That approach would cost about $4 per square foot, said Dean Saputa, a vice president at UV Resources in California, which makes ultraviolet products.

But building design and public health experts say UV light is just one weapon in an arsenal that should also include upgraded air filters, increasing the rate of fresh air circulating in rooms, frequent disinfection of common areas, and the use of masks and social distancing. The UV lights, for instance, won’t help if someone touches an infected surface, then rubs their eyes.

Another important tool: humidity. The humidity in a typical office and school building in New England in winter is about 20 percent to 30 percent — roughly half what it should be, said Harris of APA HVAC Technologies.

Research shows that dry environments are associated with higher incidence of some viral infections, such as the flu.

“While positive impacts of humidification on COVID-19 have not been determined, avoiding dry conditions in buildings is generally thought to be effective as a risk reduction strategy,” Harvard researchers concluded in a recent report that offers guidance to administrators for reopening schools.

One Phillies coach, one clubhouse staffer test positive for COVID-19

  One Phillies coach, one clubhouse staffer test positive for COVID-19 The plan had been for the Phillies to resume play on Saturday. Whether that is now in jeopardy isn’t known. The organization has already dealt with some infections earlier this year, but managed to avoid further spread within the club.This is worrisome news on several levels. First and foremost, it’s concerning to see two more individuals in the game carrying this disease. Hopefully they’ll both make a swift and full recovery.Beyond that, it’s obviously concerning to see that spread (presumably) occurred between the teams.

The report also suggested ultraviolet light as a potential strategy but said its costs, maintenance, and “potential health concerns of inadvertent UV exposures” should be considered.

There may soon be another approach.

A Columbia University scientist is working on newer UV technology, called far-UVC, that he said is more efficient and safe. It harnesses even shorter UV wavelengths, which his studies suggest are not harmful to skin and eyes. His work indicates the light can quickly disarm the flu virus and coronaviruses that cause common colds, and his latest research suggests it would work on the new coronavirus responsible for COVID-19.

“UV is like hitting the virus with a hammer,” said David Brenner, professor of radiation biophysics and director of Columbia University’s Center for Radiological Research. That UV hammer has been used for decades, without germs developing a resistance as they do with many antibiotics, Brenner said.

His team estimates that far-UVC light, used continuously in a room at the current regulatory limit, would zap about 90 percent of coronavirus activity in 8 minutes, 95 percent in 11 minutes and 99.9 percent in about 25 minutes.

“We can put these in ceiling lights that are already there, and we can directly shine it onto the air in the room, but also the surfaces in the room as well,” Brenner said. Unlike current UV-C products, far-UVC doesn’t need ceiling fans or air handling systems to work. He envisions such lights readily used in school buses, restaurants, trains, offices, and more.

Some companies are starting to ramp up production of far-UVC products, but they aren’t yet widely used.

Dr. Edward Nardell, a professor of environmental health and infectious diseases at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said far-UVC would be well-suited for use in places where it’s hard to maintain social distancing.

“I could see this technology in a nail salon,” Nardell said. “There will be more and more uses of this germicidal UV-C.”

Eventually, there will likely be a vaccine for COVID-19, but far-UVC’s role will outlast that, Brenner predicts.

“It will apply to influenza next year,” he said. “And if we have another pandemic, it will apply to that, too.”

Brewers-Cardinals game postponed due to positive coronavirus tests .
The Brewers were scheduled to play the Cardinals on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. No official announcement has been made regarding the remainder of the series. Several MLB series have now been postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests. MLB has reportedly not considered canceling the remaining of the season.Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily. Always free! Sign up now ▸More must-reads:Report: Cardinals player tests positive for COVID-19, game vs.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
usr: 19
This is interesting!