Buildings Can Get Sick and Spread Covid-19 Faster Than People

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Honorable Governor Polis,

Regarding your recent Executive Order allowing Offices to open Monday, May 4th at 50% capacity:

It’s Still Dangerous to Re-Open Non-Essential Business as Buildings Can Get Sick and Spread Covid-19 Faster Than People.

According to Journal of American Medical Association the virus can spread up to 30 feet and New England Journal of Medicine the virus can last up to 72 hours and HVAC systems accelerate airflow potentially spreading the virus faster and farther (ASHRAE).

Instead of allowing 50% in-office occupancy (by many seen as arbitrary, unenforceable or unsustainable) as many open-space offices are not safe even at 25% in-office occupancy, consider providing guidance for the space and building environments especially with parking, entrance, security, hallways, elevators, beverage, conference, training and other types of rooms as found in many kinds of businesses from government, military and nonprofits.   

That is, while people may try, they will often fail at social distancing.  Now more than ever, offices and buildings will need to change significantly for this and future crises such as new buildings including airports after 9/11.  I authored the first book on Telecommuting and Intelligent Buildings and now have researched and developed many specific intelligent safe office recommendations including the redesign of HVAC systems.

Thomas B. Cross