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Added August 5, 2020

Fund our Future Presentation on Remote-Learning for Fall 2020

COVID-19 Information and Resources

We are adding a new section to the UPI website containing Covid-19 Information and Resources, under the auspices of Dr. William Mills, an Associate Professor at Northern Illinois University (NIU) in the Department of Engineering Technology. 

The intent is for this part of the website to contain general information and resources on Covid-19, as well as resources that are specifically applicable to issues regarding the Fall 2020 reopening of Institutes of Higher Education (IHE) in IL.  Included here is the (Recommended) Best Practices for Safely Reopening Institutes of Higher Education document (right column).

UPI members with suggestions for improvement on this website can contact the UPI webmaster:

What about ventilation?

Posted by William Mills

Added August 3, 2020

Scientists in the occupational health and safety (OHS), public health, and aerosol science have become increasingly concerned that medical organizations are not communicating adequately regarding the importance of airborne transmission for Covid-19.

A recent article in The Atlantic magazine “We Need to Talk About Ventilation”, provides a good summary of the issues regarding ventilation and the issue of “airborne transmission” for Covid-19.  

The UPI Best Practices document (see below) recognizes the ventilation issue and provides recommendations that address most of the issues raised in this article.

A recent Scientific American article on superspreading events points out the importance of these events and that that vast majority of them (1100+/ approximately 1230) in one database of superspreading events took place indoors or indoors/outdoors

The following Figure 2  reproduced from Morawska, L., J. W. Tang, et al. (2020). "How can airborne transmission of COVID-19 indoors be minimised?" Environ Int 142: 105832, provides a visual  for how engineering controls (ventilation) could be use to reduce the risk for airborne transmission.

Here are some specific information links on some of the more readily available Engineering Controls for ventilation:

ASHRAE-Air Cleaners for Particulate Contamination

ASHRAE-Position Document on Filtration and Air Cleaning

ASHRAE-Ultraviolet (UV) Lamp Systems

IES-FAQ for UV Germicidal Irradiation

International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA)

COVID-19 Public Health Measures

Posted by William Mills
Added August 3, 2020

The practicing of social distancing, wearing a face mask, and proper hand hygiene have all been found to be effective, but the combination of all three is much more powerful as a public health measure than any of the three on their own.    

  1. Social distancing:

    Practicing social distancing (maintaining at least 6 ft distance) has been shown to be effective in reducing the transmission of Covid-19

  2. Wear a face mask:

    Initial messaging from CDC and WHO on the use of face masks was misleading, in part due to an arbitrary definition of what “airborne transmission” means, and concerns about respiratory personal protective equipment (PPE).  Ongoing review of data regarding Covid-19 and wearing of face masks has shown that face masks can be effective in preventing transmission of Covid-19.

  3. Proper hand hygiene:

    Hand and environmental disinfection measures have been shown to be important in reducing transmission.  

    1. WHO and infographic
    2. CDC recommendations

Several mnemonics can be useful in helping to remind others (and yourself).

Practice the 3 W’s

  1. WATCH your distance
  2. WEAR a mask
  3. WASH your hands frequently and thoroughly

Avoid the 3C’s

  1. Closed Spaces (with poor ventilation)
  2. Crowded places with many people nearby
  3. Close-contact settings

In many cases, Covid-19 transmission has been traced to one or more of these general public health measures not being followed.  Covid-19 is relentless and does not take a day off!

COVID-19 General Resources

Posted by William Mills
Added August 3, 2020

I have compiled links for a number of website that I believe will be useful to members as general resources for Covid-19.  It should be noted that some of these websites do not necessarily contain the most up to date information (e.g., the WHO website has been lacking in information on the airborne transmission) or have been subject to political interference (e.g., CDC guidance for school reopening has been watered down by CDC staff, and  some was written by political appointees at the White House who have no medical, scientific or technical qualification, and concerns about church gatherings and choir practices have been removed from other guidance).  Since the Covid-19 science is being updated on an ongoing (and rapid) basis, sources that contain newer information may conflict with sources that are based on older information.

Illinois Department of Public Health  (IDPH)

IDPH Covid-19 statistics

US Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

World Health Organization

John Hopkins University (JHU) Coronavirus Resource Center
JHU Covid-19 Map(s)

US National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Elsevier  Novel Coronavirus Information Center

US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Mental Health America




ASHRAE-general Covid-19

ASHRAE-specific information for schools and universities


No events at this time (August 18, 2020)


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