Coalition of parents + teachers amplifying “VITAL” science for #FreshAirSchools in #ArlingtonVA: Ventilation/filters, 💉, Testing, 💻 Accommodations, 🌳☀️ Lunch
Feb 23 • 16 tweets • 5 min read
1/ ASHRAE (professional engineering org for HVAC professionals) has a technical committee on the design of educational facilities that has released new guidance on how schools can achieve “advanced indoor air quality.” @SuptDuran@jmayo443@APSFacilities2/ The complete report can be found here, but a 🧵 to sum up some of the ideas. APS falls very short on most of this, but its our hope that new buildings will be built with some basis of best practice and health — optimal conditions for learning. ashrae.org/file%20library…
Feb 22 • 54 tweets • 14 min read
Covid can cause damage to the heart on a cellular level that can lead to lasting problems, including irregular heartbeats & heart failure, new research suggests.
And the plan is? 5-10 infections for every kid in their school years? Brilliant, @SuptDuran.
Today, APS has 9,862 cases of COVID on dashboard, @SuptDuran. We counted at least 115 cases pre-dashboard. Looks like +23 more and APS hits the 10,000 mark. Massive waves happened when masks came off. APS lacks impactful air cleaning to prevent damage to health of kids/staff.
Dec 19, 2022 • 38 tweets • 23 min read
1/ Finally got the full pandemic data file via a FOIA request from #Arlington Public Schools. What follows is a historic account of how the pandemic went in the smallest "self-governing" county in the USA; also one of the wealthiest (7th) and most densely populated (12th).
2/ COVID continues to be a significant, systemic challenge that impacts schools, teachers, kids and their families — as well as education. Data can inform policies to implement for the long run to disrupt COVID & other airborne illnesses.
@sri_srikrishna@RanuDhillon@AbraarKaran We’re re-running our spreadsheet of all classrooms in Arlington, where staff accepted 4 ACH and we had 7,000+ cases of COVID. They remind everyone how Dr. Allen blessed their 4 ACH when we ask for better. Nothing has been more detrimental to our efforts to get more clean air.
@sri_srikrishna@RanuDhillon@AbraarKaran We do want to see how many classrooms have 10 L/s/person of clean air, based on last year’s enrollment, and what the size of the gap is, if measured that way, especially with more crowded schools. The Italian study suggested up to 14 L/s/person.
Aug 19, 2022 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
1/ Falls Church has the least amount of poverty of all VA localities. Wealthier suburban families with access to healthcare are weathering #COVID19 better than others. From a glance, #SOL slump seems to have struck hard at poorest counties with highest per capita rates of COVID.
2/ We would like to see this state invest a lot more in correcting decades of deferred maintenance that make our schools an ideal setting to spread COVID-19 (and a less than ideal setting for learning and health). Our schools facilities should be a lot more pandemic resilient.
Aug 19, 2022 • 9 tweets • 3 min read
1/ A CDC reorganization will not fix this, if the CDC does not base its guidance on science.
CDC failed early to communicate #COVIDIsAirborne and discouraged mask use — to date the most effective & cheap strategy. (Different from other countries w/better response.)
2/ CDC fails now to communicate that people are likely infectious BEFORE they know it or will test positive
and that the majority are likely infectious after five days.
CDC fails to emphasize how to use tests correctly, while government fails to make repeat testing affordable.
Aug 9, 2022 • 5 tweets • 6 min read
@mikechenwriter@dr_kkjetelina@Lakshmi_RKG@asosin RE:ACH/1 To sum up our experience, we learned that a bare minimum based on Wells-Riley seemed to be set at about 6 ACH. A portable air cleaner study reaffirmed that HEPA filters providing 6 ACH of clean air (on top of other air) could remove greater than 90% of particles.
@mikechenwriter@dr_kkjetelina@Lakshmi_RKG@asosin RE:ACH/2 Then virus evolved new variants, and some kids began to unmask in March of this year, with explosive spread resulting. One teacher wondered to us what the point of class would be if only 3-4 students were well enough to learn, with everyone at different days of disease.
1/ Unlike Omicron wave, the BA.2 & BA.2.12.1 surge has produced a sustained high level of illness impacting @APSVirginia in May, especially as the system reduced isolation and guaranteed that identified contagious people would return to infect others. #Arlington#COVID19#Cases
2/ North Arlington schools saw largest % of their student bodies infected w/COVID. (CDC estimates actual cases 2.3x-9x higher than reported in VA, so these are undercounts.)
VDH outbreak list now reports 78 linked COVID-19 cases, the result of attending or working at #Taylor elementary school in late April and May. It’s one of the larger documented school outbreaks in Virginia since they began keeping track.
VDH outbreak list now reports 41 linked COVID-19 cases, the result of attending or working at #ArlingtonTraditional elementary school in May.
The new variants are so contagious spread to family members is extremely common after exposure at school.
Jun 4, 2022 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
1/ The green trend line is BA.4 zooming upward, while BA.2.12.1 had become dominant. Each new one is more fit to spread, more infectious, or can breakthrough vaccine and previous immunity. Now is not the time to get rid of all precautions, not even do basic outbreak management.
2/ If you have any symptoms STAY HOME. You will be contagious BEFORE you get a positive test. You may not test positive until 5-7 days after your exposure. (PCR test to document your case for insurance, access to treatment, will tell you sooner.)
😡: Almost no students who are exposed are being told directly of exposures or quarantined.
We encourage parents w/COVID+ kids to DIY your own reporting to parents and families where you can; assume APS isn't going to notify exposed. It's up to you. #Arlington#COVID19#Cases
The worst school, with >13% of its students catching COVID in Jan, is #Montessori Public School.
MPSA was found to be one of the worst schools for ventilation + parents reported a lack of implementation for outdoor lunch in Jan. for some classes.
Dec 18, 2021 • 8 tweets • 4 min read
CDC is recommending #TestToStay. But focuses only on the unvaccinated. Breakthrough cases of vaccinated people jumped 64% suddenly recently in Northern Virginia. We need to ramp up RAPID testing for ALL kids, vaxed and unvaxed, who are exposed to COVID.
Short additional 🧵: There are important qualities of such a #TestToStay program that APS would need to emulate. Can't pick and choose, get same results.
#1 - The kid who got exposed limited exposure b/c both parties WORE MASKS. Eliminate masks, gotta quarantine 'cuz certain 🤮.
Aug 23, 2021 • 16 tweets • 10 min read
1/ It would be easy to call out some of the schools that have done little for #APSOutdoorLunch, because they have a "can't do" attitude. But today, we're going to call out some of the bright points. Hope to see more of the "can do" attitude across APS, like these examples:
2/ Kenmore 2020-21: Cafeteria staff noted that #APSOutdoorLunch has turned out to be more organized, more relaxed, quieter, less stressful, and less restricted for them and for students. Thanks @apskenmore for keeping our kids safe!
Aug 22, 2021 • 6 tweets • 5 min read
1/ Risk reduction in a room that has at least 5 air changes per hour. @APSVirginia, another study shows how layered mitigations work. We need to add True HEPAS to rooms *now* to #CleanTheAir, and boost filtration, because #DeltaVariant is far more infectious.
2/ The blue line👆 is where most APS rooms are, if not WORSE for about 1/3 of our rooms. APS chose the most minimal goal it could (4 ACH). We haven’t prioritized providing the same BETTER 6ACH ventilation for all kids.
1/ Regarding music classes, @APSArts, students who participate in indoor singing were 2.8 times MORE likely to get #COVID19 in Omaha schools study. Also, air samples from choir rooms contained virus, even w/ kids singing in masks. medrxiv.org/content/10.110…
2/ CDC: "High-risk extracurricular activities are those in which increased exhalation occurs…” CDC recommends activities be canceled or held virtually (unless ALL participants are fully vaccinated) when a community is in high transmission. cdc.gov/coronavirus/20…
Aug 21, 2021 • 10 tweets • 6 min read
1/ #CO2monitors: How cool! San Diego Unified put CO2 monitors and particle counters in schools to monitor #ventilation and #filtration — making sure it was adequate to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in every room.
Using science + data to target and actually fix problems!
👏👏 2/ Here's a great thread 🧵 explaining how this works.
Isn't this how we'd hope to handle these situations at work? 👇
2/ Worker 😨, calling boss: Hey, I sat next to someone w/ COVID-19 for 7 hours yesterday, but am vaccinated; can I come into work and wear a mask? Have lunch in the cafeteria?
BOSS: No, work from home. Some vaccinated people have spread COVID-19. Get tested. Then come back.
Aug 13, 2021 • 21 tweets • 5 min read
Okay, going to put our answers into a 🧵 because out of order…
1/ Thought-provoking 🧵 on how Delta variant may be more dependent on larger clusters of infection (super-spreading!) to surge. The “k” factor or variability could be more. But add a “super emitter” to a low air flow room and 💥, then multiply by how often this is happening…
2/ The obvious applicability is one would reduce the following:
📌Eliminate situations like indoor eating at schools, in community cafeterias, and improve airflow in rooms that are ideal for superspreading. (<1 ACH for sure; close to 2 ACH should be next priority, and so on).