Lunch & Learn: Improving indoor air quality for infection control in community spaces
This special lunch 'n' learn webinar took place on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Watch the recording below to learn how community health care and service agencies can improve indoor air quality to reduce airborne transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, and we'll hear how one organization – Na-Me-Res in Toronto - did it. The slides are available for download here (as a PDF).
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Participants in this webinar will learn some key considerations for organizations as they develop their own strategies for improving indoor air quality. These include identifying higher-risk areas in order to allocate resources appropriately; assessing and understanding the unique features of each space in order to determine what's needed; recognizing benefits of improved ventilation and filtration that go beyond COVID-19.
Jeffrey Siegel, Ph.D., is Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto and a member of the university’s Building Engineering Research Group. He holds joint appointments at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences. His research interests and expertise include healthy and sustainable buildings, ventilation and indoor air quality in residential and commercial buildings, and the indoor microbiome. He teaches courses in indoor air quality, sustainable buildings, and sustainable energy systems.
Morris MacDonald is Finance Manager at Native Men's Residence (Na-Me-Res) in Toronto. Early on in the pandemic, Na-Me-Res took proactive measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and protect their residents, guests, and staff. This included significant updates to ventilation, filtration, and air quality. Morris will speak about the experiences of Na-Me-Res in doing this work.
Resources to Support your Air Quality Work
Fact sheets, backgrounders and web pages
- “Reducing transmission of respiratory illness in community spaces through improved indoor air quality” (backgrounder developed with Dr. Jeff Siegel). (July, 2021)
- “Core Recommendations for Reducing Airborne Infectious Aerosol Exposure” from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Epidemic Task Force. (Jan., 2021)
- “COVID-19 Response Resources” from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Epidemic Task Force
- “COVID-19: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems in Buildings” from Public Health Ontario. (August 8, 2020)
- “COVID-19: Guidance on indoor ventilation during the pandemic” from Public Health Agency of Canada. (Jan, 2020)
- “Use of Portable Air Cleaners and Transmission of COVID- 19” from Public Health Ontario. (Dec., 2020):
- “COVID-19: Transmission, Aerosols and Ventilation” from Toronto Public Health. (May, 2021) Available at:
- “Can CO2 sensors be used to assess COVID-19 transmission risk?” from National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health. (January 15, 2021)
- “ASHRAE Epidemic Building Readiness” from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. (April, 2021)
- “Workplaces and COVID-19: Occupational Health and Safety Considerations for Reopening and Operating During the Pandemic” from the Canadian Standards Association. (Sept. 2020)
The following organizations provided in-kind support for this event.
- MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions
- Toronto Drop-In Network
- Indigenous Primary Health Care Council