Successful deployment of HEPA air cleaner monitoring in King County Homeless Shelters

Last week, our group had our first successful deployment of monitors for a new project aimed at improving air quality at homeless shelters in King County. As part of the efforts of Public Health Seattle King County in deploying thousands of portable HEPA air cleaners to help control the transmission of COVID-19 in congregate settings, we are working together to monitor improvements in air quality over time. Partly public health response and partly research, we aim to make incremental improvements through detailed monitoring of indoor/outdoor air quality and air cleaner numbers and usage patterns, and by providing frequent report-back of findings to the operators.

This research is supported in part by the Washington State Department of Health, through a CDC grant aimed at improving air quality in congregate settings, especially with the combined threats of COVID-19, wildfire smoke, and extreme heat.

Also, as part of this and other work, our research group has developed a room-sized testing chamber, which allows us to evaluate different air cleaners such as those being provided by King County. Our chamber allows us to characterize air cleaner particle removal efficacy with a comprehensive set of measures (e.g., fine and ultrafine sizing, black carbon).