“I’m hearing more and more stories of serious COVID-driven worker shortages. For example, a small manufacturer with 10 of 75 employees currently home sick. Not seriously ill, but they’re missing work, and the firm was already understaffed anyway. Anyone else see this?”
That was a tweet on June 6, 2022, by an economics journalist. While these sorts of reports may be anecdotal, odds are you know at least one person right now with COVID-19 (Covid). According to official case counts, the U.S. is now in a Covid surge, but no one is really sure how big this latest wave is. One survey of the surge in New York City estimates that Covid cases could be undercounted by about 30-fold. The difference between official case counts and, perhaps, truer estimates may be attributed to increased home testing—typically not included in official numbers—or people simply not testing at all even if they have symptoms or have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid.
Current Covid surge
As precautions like wearing masks and avoiding indoor crowds have fallen by the wayside, it’s not surprising this disease, which spreads via aerosols, has ramped up again. In St. Louis, the city and county are back at “Red” level for Covid according to CDC standards. Effective June 6, 2020, masks are required in all park buildings (including Gateway Arch National Park) regardless of vaccination status. In Los Angeles, the county estimates that if they continue on their current trajectory of increased Covid-related hospital admissions, the county would be at the CDC’s high virus-activity category by the end of the month which would mean a return to mandatory indoor masking.
The (relatively) good news is we may be nearing the peak of this latest surge. Indeed, New York City data indicates cases may be plateauing there (but keeping in mind official case counts may be undercounted, as described above). That being said, experts are also warning of a coming, potentially more impactful, surge this fall and winter.
Covid surge this fall and winter
As reported by the Washington Post, last month the current U.S. administration warned that we could see 100 million Covid infections and “a potentially significant wave of deaths this fall and winter, driven by new omicron subvariants that have shown a remarkable ability to escape immunity.” Other experts agree a surge of this magnitude is possible later this year due to waning immunity from vaccines and infections, continued lack of precautions, and the rise of new variants. The current surge is due in large part to omicron subvariants BA.2 and BA.2.12.1, but BA.4 and BA.5 are the new variants raising concern for later this year. They are behind a recent surge in infections in South Africa and some who are monitoring Covid predict a new wave in the U.S. beginning as early as late August or beginning of September.
On May 26, 2022, a study preprint (meaning not yet peer reviewed) was published by Sato Labs, reportedly the first to sound the alarm about BA.2 in February of this year. According to the study, the threat of variants, “particularly BA.4 and BA.5, to global health is potentially greater than that of original BA.2.”
Protecting your business with germicidal UV
You can’t be sure your employees are taking precautions outside of your business but, when they’re in your space, you can make an impact. Covid is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Germicidal UV, when properly designed, tested, and installed, can safely help prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2—it’s as simple as that. Aerapy has been in business since 2008 and is dedicated to creating healthy indoor environments with our certified, tested, and study-backed germicidal UV. There is no time like the present to protect you and your employees against the Covid surge happening now and in the future.
UV’s short and powerful wavelength destroys the DNA of infectious pathogens, rendering the pathogens harmless and unable to multiply, essentially killing the pathogens. When tested against SARS-CoV-2, Aerapy’s sanitizing UV achieved a greater than 99.9% kill rate in seconds, in the air and on surfaces. Aerapy UV products are safe for use in occupied spaces, allowing them to work around the clock to sanitize the air. Moreover, we offer a variety of UV devices to meet the needs of every indoor environment.
UV for HVAC. In-duct UV lights work in concert with HVAC systems to prevent the spread of infectious disease throughout an indoor environment. With Aerapy UV equipment for HVAC installed, as air enters your air intakes, it passes through our in-duct UV systems that neutralize both coil surface and airborne mold, viruses, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms before they circulate throughout your indoor environment.
Upper air UV. For those with HVAC air cleaning in place you’re already ahead of the game, but it can take hours for air to circulate throughout a building. For those who need immediate air cleaning in more specific areas, upper air (also known as upper room) UV systems offer a targeted solution. Also designed for buildings with no HVAC in place, Aerapy’s standalone upper air germicidal UV products offer immediate airflow, circulation, and disinfection. Depending on the product, these air cleaning UV solutions are either ceiling-mounted and direct wired or wall-mounted and designed to simply plug in, providing a fast and effective air cleaning solution.
UV for transport and service vehicles. Not every work environment is confined to brick and mortar surroundings which is why we made DuoGuard, our germicidal UV device specifically designed for transport and service vehicles. The patented DuoGuard helps guard against the spread of pathogens in two ways: an integrated fan creates powerful airflow for air disinfection during transport and, once unoccupied, the UV device sanitizes surfaces with the push of a button.
Aerapy has been in the business of producing high quality, professionally installed germicidal UV since 2008. Our mission is to help prevent the spread of infectious disease and improve indoor air quality for all occupants. Give us a call today at 866-994-2473 or write to us online for more information.