By Rev. Marty Levesque
The Covid 19 pandemic continues as we learn, adapt, and implement mitigation measures to keep ourselves and those we love safe.
We have learned much since March 2020, and it is important that not only do we put into practice safety measures, but it is also important that we communicate to the world the measures we have put into place on our websites and social media channels.
The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers has some core recommendations for safer indoor air that will allow congregations to gather safely indoors as we still navigate the pandemic. Advertising the measure your church has put into place will go a long way to welcoming those who are immunocompromised and those still hesitant to return to church.
The OSPE recommends a minimum of six air changes per hour. This can be done using a combination of ventilation, filtration, and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation systems. The air exchange can be monitored and confirmed through the installation of CO2 monitors.
All air filtration in any forced air systems should be upgraded to Merv 13 or higher filters and also include the use of portable HEP filters or DIY CR boxes in each of the occupied spaces.
Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation systems (upper room UV lighting -the kind used previously against TB) are recommended to be installed by a qualified professional in high congregant settings. The OSPE recommends units in high occupancy settings, like our worship spaces.
For more information on the OSPE recommendations, please visit ospe.on.ca/indoor-air-quality
Transparency and public education are key to coming out of the pandemic. By sharing information about your facility on your media channels you will be creating a welcoming environment that puts the safety of all God's children first. And what a wonderous demonstration of the love of neighbour that would be.
Rev. Marty Levesque is the diocesan social media officer and rector of All Saints’ in Waterloo. firstname.lastname@example.org