HVAC system strategies to airborne infectious outbreaks | Health Technical Advice
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Technical guidelines 28 April 2020

HVAC system strategies to airborne infectious outbreaks | Health Technical Advice

The purpose of this Health Technical Advice (HTA-2020-001) is to provide guidance to Hospital Engineers on actions that could be taken in the event of airborne infectious outbreaks with regards to heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems installed within a healthcare facility.

This HTA is not to take the place of any Health Agency specific Infectious Diseases or Pandemic Mode Plans or any facility specific emergency response plans associated with acute infectious disease outbreak. Instead this HTA should inform Hospital Engineering Teams on how to implement interventions aimed at mitigation of risk from airborne infectious disease and understand the uncertainty of the effectiveness of current practice recommendations.

Final recommendations and proposed solutions should be discussed and agreed as part of a collaborative multidisciplinary team of engineers, building operators, scientists, infection prevention specialists, and epidemiologists.

Revision A (08/07/2020) includes an update to the ‘Approaches for healthcare facilities’ section.

This Health Technical Advice includes:

  • Preface
  • The issue
  • Airborne transmission
  • Approaches for health care facilities
    • Ventilation and air-cleaning strategies
    • Controlled Volumetric Air Movement (Barrier air flow)
    • Dilution
    • Filtration
    • Temperature and humidity
    • Facilities maintenance
    • Strategies
  • Summary
    • Airborne precautions for aerosol-generating procedures
  • References and bibliography
  • Attachment 1 - HVAC system checklist

Please note: This document has been prepared as a guide and for information purposes only. No legal obligation for any loss, damage or expense is incurred by any person relying on the information provided.


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Last updated: 01 September 2020