CBC News Article: UPEI faculty and staff call for better air quality to limit spread of COVID-19

Download a PDF copy of the letter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 3, 2021
UPEI Faculty Association / CUPE-1870 calls on UPEI to provide an indoor air quality strategy for
Fall 2021

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – Leaders of the campus unions representing UPEI faculty members, librarians, sessional instructors, clinical nursing instructors, clinical veterinary professionals (UPEI Faculty Association) and UPEI support staff (CUPE-1870) sent a letter (https://www.upeifa.ca/upei-air-quality-covid-19/) to UPEI President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz requesting further clarity and transparency around UPEI’s strategy for addressing indoor air quality in light of the scientific consensus around the airborne transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. Researchers have noted that two key determinants for the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) are the duration of exposure and viral load both of
which are strongly related to indoor air quality and ventilation/filtration strategies.

In the context of COVID-19, union leaders believe that UPEI requires a robust and transparent COVID-19 ventilation/filtration strategy to protect the health and safety of everyone who lives, works or studies on UPEI campus. Union leaders are pushing for detailed information around ventilation, filtration, and disinfection to be accessible to anyone who steps on UPEI campus.
For example, the University of Toronto has published a COVID-19 heating, ventilation, and air conditioning strategy including detailed information about the air quality of their various campuses, buildings, and classrooms and has signaled their commitment to at least six air changes per hour (ACH) in their classrooms: https://www.fs.utoronto.ca/services/hvac-mechanical-utilities/covid-hvac-strategy/

For the health and well-being of everyone who lives, works, or studies on our campus, union leaders believe it is of paramount importance for UPEI Administration to clarify what steps it is taking to ensure the health and safety of the campus community in these difficult and uncertain times.

For further information contact:
Dr. Michael Arfken
President
University of Prince Edward Island Faculty Association (UPEIFA)
president@upeifa.ca