For the latest COVID-19 information and news from Centennial College, please visit Together Again Fall 2021. (Please note, that at-home rapid antigen testing began Monday, October 4 and you must show results on the Campus Safety Watch App).

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416-289-5000
1-800-268-4419

P.O. Box 631 Station A
Toronto, ON, M1K 5E9

 

COVID-19 Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Strategy

COVID-19 Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Strategy

Centennial College is committed first and foremost to the health and safety of our entire community.

To ensure a thorough approach to maintaining a safe indoor environment, the role of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems and current maintenance practices are routinely assessed against emerging public health evidence and industry guidelines with regard to COVID-19, which represent a risk particularly to people who are in:

  • enclosed spaces
  • indoor situations where people are in close proximity

The most important elements in reducing the risk of COVID-19 are preventative measures, such as:

  • minimizing the number of people in a place at the same time
  • maintaining a physical distance of at least 2 metres- dependent on fall H&S guidelines
  • using well-constructed, well-fitting masks
  • practising good hand and respiratory hygiene

In addition to these practices, adequate ventilation can contribute to reducing the risk of COVID19 transmission in indoor settings. It is important to remember that good indoor ventilation alone cannot protect people from exposure to the virus, particularly:

  • during close unprotected contact
  • in the absence of other protective measures

While aerosols may contribute to the spread of COVID-19, close contact transmission is still the most common and highest-risk route of infection. Most infections are still linked to person-to person transmission through close direct contact with someone who was contagious, even if they are not presenting with symptoms. For this reason, it is importance to follow infection prevention and control measures such as self-screening, staying home when sick, mask wearing, frequent hand hygiene, and practicing physical distancing.

The College will abide by all applicable public health authority directives, guidelines and information and will update information accordingly.

Supporting the health and safety of our community

We expect improved public health conditions in 2021-22 due to vaccine rollout in the coming months. In-person activities will continue to occur in accordance with public health guidance.

The College has implemented a series of measures, in keeping with public health directives, to reduce the risk of transmission:

  • Practicing physical distancing (> 2 metres) throughout the campus by rearranging schedules, physical layouts, and task execution, where feasible.
  • Making facemasks mandatory inside all college operated facilities.
  • Communicating COVID-19 safety measures through our Re-entry Guidelines and Protocols.
  • Mandating a COVID-19 Pre-screening Assessment for all visitors to campus each day.
  • Advising employees, students and visitors to stay home if they are experiencing symptoms listed on the Toronto Public Health website. Please refer to the Exposure Notification section for actions to take if you are presenting with symptoms.
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection of our facilities.

These remain the most effective measures against COVID-19. These same measures have also been implemented at Centennial Place Residence.

Implementing Ventilation Measures Across Centennial College Campuses

To support the protective measures and efforts above, building operations teams will continue maintaining the indoor environment through:

  • Regularly reviewing ventilation measures as recommended by public health and HVAC industry guidelines.
  • Regularly maintaining HVAC systems on all our campuses.
  • HVAC systems have had their control systems modified to “COVID-19” mode where applicable, which means the systems have been optimized to provide as much fresh air as possible, that their design will allow for without freezing associated systems in the winter and overheating in the summer.
  • Disabling demand control ventilation measures (typically in place to support energy conservation efforts), to avoid reductions in air flow.
  • Replacing centralized HVAC system filters with the highest compatible with the existing HVAC infrastructure.
  • Changing of HVAC system filters quarterly.
  • Performing air flushing two hours before occupancy and after occupancy in every building to replace indoor air with outdoor air.

The college is also engaging the services of an external engineering firm to perform HVAC assessment and air surveys across our college campuses, focused on sampling from spaces in use to ensure optimal airflow rates. This work will continue throughout the year as needed.