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Webinars Focus on Building Ventilation for COVID-19

“COVID-19 and the Built Environment” is a webinar series focused on the role of proper ventilation to protect employees, customers and businesses during the pandemic.

It will be presented November  9, 10 and 12 by the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). The event is sponsored by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and UAMS.

“The 2020 pandemic has challenged how we look at everything, including our activities of daily life in the home and in the workplace,” said Curtis Barnett, president and CEO of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. “Arkansas Blue Cross is pleased to sponsor this three-part COVID-19 symposium during which experts will provide businesses, schools, agencies and other organizations with practical tips on how adjustments to ventilation can help prevent the spread of COVID.”

The UAMS College of Public Health is bringing together experts from across the country for three live broadcasts. It will be recorded and uploaded to YouTube for later viewing.

The webinar is free and open to the public. To access the broadcast, go to

Presenters and topics include:
  • Luke Leung PE, LEED Fellow, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill LLP in Chicago
  • Elliott Gall, Ph.D., Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Portland State University
  • Cynthia Lewis, principal at Creative Safety Solution and director of Gulf Coast Safety Institute.
10:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Monday, November 9

Leung will discuss the latest research on COVID-19 about winterizing our buildings. He will address questions such as:

  • What are the positions of the CDC, ASHRAE, and WHO on the airborne transmission of COVID-19?
  • What evidence is there the virus can be found in ductwork and HVAC systems?
  • Why is the environment in winter more concerning than in summer?
  • How do we prepare our buildings to minimize infection risk this winter?
10:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, November 10

Gall will discuss the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, aerosols 101 and mitigation strategies for buildings.

  • What size particles are generated by people and how long can they remain in the air?
  • How are particles removed from an indoor environment and what strategies exist for reducing particle exposures?
  • Overview of indoor air mitigation strategies: reduced occupancy + distancing, face coverings, ventilation, air-cleaning.
  • Approaches and tools for estimating risk in an indoor space
10:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, November 12

 Lewis will discuss developing emotional resilience as a new tool for workplace safety and health. She will address how to:

  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of work-related stress in yourself and others.
  • Use tools to increase readiness in yourself and others.
  • Use communication strategies to reduce anxiety in tough conversations — wearing a face mask, social distancing, frequent hand washing, etc.

“This is vital information for businesses and manufacturing facilities to help keep their employees and customers safe as we head into the colder months of fall and winter,” said Randy Zook, president and CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas. “We are pleased to join forces with the UAMS College of Public Health and Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield in offering this webinar on proper ventilation during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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