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This doc supplies interim steerage to cut back the danger of introducing and transmitting SARS-CoV-2 (the virus answerable for inflicting COVID-19) in cleaner air shelters and cleaner air areas. Cleaner air shelters and cleaner air areas are public areas the place individuals can search aid from wildfire smoke. This interim steerage is meant to be used by federal, state, native, and tribal jurisdictions in america. It needs to be used at the side of current cleaner air shelter data, procedures, steerage, and sources.


Wildfire smoke is a public well being concern in america. Publicity to wildfire smoke can result in eye and respiratory tract irritation, exacerbations of current respiratory and cardiovascular situations, and untimely dying.

Cleaner air shelters are utilized by many communities to offer areas the place individuals can shelter in a single day or for prolonged durations of time. Faculty gymnasiums, buildings at public fairgrounds, and civic auditoriums are examples of areas used as cleaner air shelters throughout wildfires. Cleaner air areas are utilized by many communities to offer momentary aid from wildfire smoke; they’re typically utilized by people who can’t create areas with adequately clear air of their houses. Examples of cleaner air areas embody libraries, museums, purchasing malls, senior facilities, and different indoor areas with efficient particle filtration and air con.

Using cleaner air shelters and cleaner air areas can lead to congregating of teams of individuals, together with older adults and people with coronary heart or lung situations. Congregation of individuals in cleaner air shelters and cleaner air areas can doubtlessly present a route for the transmission of SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, amongst people utilizing the amenities, employees, and volunteers.

Preparedness Actions and Potential Intervention Methods

Screening and Various Websites for Symptomatic and Asymptomatic People

If sources can be found, contemplate implementing verbal screening or temperature checks upon arrival at cleaner air shelters and cleaner air areas and usually thereafter. If potential, present separate areas for these exhibiting signs of COVID-19 (i.e., cough, fever, shortness of breath). Separate areas could embody separate rooms inside cleaner air shelters and cleaner air areas or separate areas that can be utilized to accommodate people with signs of COVID-19. Most individuals with COVID-19 infections will doubtless have delicate signs, or no signs, and never require hospital care. Be ready to contact emergency officers (name 911) within the case of extreme sickness requiring medical help.

Bodily Distancing

Preserve social (bodily) distancing inside cleaner air shelters and cleaner air areas. Areas needs to be organized in order that there may be a minimum of six toes between people, no matter whether or not they present signs of COVID-19. Take into account separation of furnishings and creating partitioned areas for particular person household items (households who reside collectively don’t want to take care of bodily distancing in a cleaner air shelter or cleaner air house). Flooring markings, akin to with tape, can be utilized to mark distances between partitioned areas. Smaller amenities can restrict the variety of people utilizing the cleaner air shelters and cleaner air areas, in accordance with state and native pointers that restrict the scale of gatherings. This might decrease capability, so contemplate establishing a bigger variety of smaller cleaner air shelters or cleaner air areas. Communities would possibly contemplate partnering with closed companies, akin to film theaters, which may function different cleaner air areas.

Preparation of Cleaner Air Shelters and Cleaner Air Areas

Cleaner air shelters and cleaner air areas needs to be ready utilizing current details about the identification and preparation of areas to guard the general public from wildfire smoke. Minimal necessities for air con and air filtration are described in Appendix B of Wildfire Smoke: A Information for Public Well being Officerspdf icon. At minimal, amenities ought to have central air con with filtration that’s medium or excessive effectivity, particularly on the recent (outside) air consumption. Services ought to proceed to offer air filtration that’s satisfactory for the anticipated variety of occupants within the house. Moveable air cleaners can be utilized in areas that may obtain a smoke clear air supply charge (CADR) of a minimum of 2/3 of the room quantity. Air filtration shouldn’t be relied on for controlling the unfold of COVID-19; air filtration pointers are primarily for lowering indoor concentrations of wildfire smoke.

If separate areas in the identical constructing are wanted to separate people with and with out COVID-19 signs, it is very important be sure that air doesn’t circulation from the house sheltering people with COVID-19 to the house sheltering others. To take action, it might be essential to work with a certified heating, air flow, and air con (HVAC) skilled.


Observe the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) cleansing and disinfection pointers for neighborhood amenities, and details about cleansing and disinfecting buildings and amenities if somebody is sick. Even people with no signs can transmit SARS-CoV-2 and the virus can survive for a number of days on arduous (non-porous) surfaces. Subsequently, it is very important proceed routine cleansing and disinfection a minimum of daily with a give attention to excessive contact surfaces, together with these in widespread areas and bogs, utilizing an EPA-registered disinfectant on Listing Nexterior icon or a correctly diluted bleach resolution.


Improve onsite communication about COVID-19. Use well being messages and supplies developed by credible public well being sources, akin to your state and native public well being departments and CDC. Learn extra about on a regular basis preventive actions. Share or publish COVID-19 posters and reality sheets to maintain individuals knowledgeable about public well being suggestions to forestall illness unfold. Messaging could embody:

  • Posting indicators at entrances and in strategic locations offering instruction on:
  • Offering instructional supplies about COVID-19 for non-English audio system, as wanted
  • Encouraging unwell employees and volunteers to remain dwelling (or to go dwelling in the event that they develop signs whereas on the facility) to forestall transmitting the an infection to others

Determine and handle potential language, cultural, and incapacity limitations related to speaking COVID-19 data to employees, volunteers, and people utilizing the cleaner air shelters and cleaner air areas. Be taught extra about reaching individuals of various languages and cultures.

Prevention Provides

If out there, present COVID-19 prevention provides onsite at cleaner air shelters and cleaner air areas. Have provides, akin to cleaning soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers that include a minimum of 60% alcohol, tissues, and trash baskets available. Employees, volunteers, and people utilizing the cleaner air shelters and cleaner air areas ought to put on a material face overlaying, or if provides can be found, be given a clear disposable facemaskpdf icon, even when they aren’t exhibiting any signs. Material face coverings shouldn’t be positioned on younger kids below 2 years of age, anybody who has bother respiratory, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or in any other case unable to take away the masks with out help. Place posters that encourage handwashing on the entrance to the power, at sinks in restrooms, and in different areas the place they’re more likely to be seen. If water bottles are distributed, be sure that bottles or glasses will not be shared.

Utility Help

Take into account implementing or increasing packages that present utility help, such because the low-income dwelling vitality help program (LIHEAP) or related strategies that present monetary help for dwelling air conditioner use. A short lived ban on utility shut offs throughout wildfires would enable individuals to proceed utilizing dwelling air con and transportable air cleaners. This technique may decrease the quantity of people that can’t keep of their houses throughout wildfire smoke occasions and the variety of individuals utilizing cleaner air shelters and cleaner air areas.

Employees and Volunteers

Plan for workers and volunteer absences. Develop versatile attendance and sick-leave insurance policies. Employees and volunteers ought to observe CDC interim steerage to forestall office exposures and keep dwelling when they’re sick. They could additionally want to remain dwelling when they’re caring for a sick family member or their kids throughout faculty dismissals. Determine vital job capabilities and positions, and plan for different protection by cross-training cleaner air shelter and cleaner air house employees and volunteers.


See for extra details about COVID-19.

For extra data on the well being results of wildfire smoke and lowering publicity to wildfire smoke, see:

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