Covid 19 continues to freely circulate throughout the population.
Covid 19 was the 3rd leading cause of death in 2022 in Canada. The expectation is this will be the same for 2023.
Repeated infections from Covid 19 has lead to many Canadians reporting various long Covid symptoms.
Recently CBS’ 60 Minutes aired a piece on indoor air quality, healthy buildings vs sick buildings, and how clean air leads to better health outcomes, increased productivity, and less sickness and sick days among employees.
For instance, it was reported that in Mount Vernon, Washington, the Skagit Valley Chorale held its weekly rehearsals in a church. This led to what is now known as a superspreader event. In all, 53 of the 61 people in attendance contracted COVID. All because of little to no ventilation and filtration to clean the air.
Armed with the knowledge that illnesses spread through the air we breathe and of new recommendations from the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) for air exchange rate, we at All Saints Waterloo wanted to make sure the new church and community centre was a healthy building for all to gather.
The newly commissioned HVAC system has an air exchange rate of 4.2 air changes per hour. We also use HEPA filters and Corsi Rosenthal boxes strategically placed through the space (the CR boxes were built by the Sunday School as part of their formation as disciples in the care of others). This allows us to strive towards the 6 air exchanges or equivalent per hour as recommended by OSPE to minimize the spread of infections.
Our love of God and love of neighbour (Matt 22:37-40) is expressed by making sure our building is a healthy building and the air people breathe is clean like the water we drink.
The average person breathes approximately 11 000 litres of air per day. As COVID, RSV, Influenza and other airborne illnesses continue to freely circulate among the population and continue to adverselly affect the elderly, children, and others at risk, our desire was for the new space to be a safe space; a sanctuary for all.
We are told to “Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night.” (Phil 2:15 MSG) The new healthy building will help ensure we remain a hospital for the broken where the breath of life nourishes and heals. And because the HVAC has been designed with the care of people in mind, we are able to strive to live our vision where All are Saints, All are Loved and All are Welcome.
In addition to good air exchange and filtration, there are always masks available in the Narthex whether you are attending a worship service, an event at the SideWalk Community Centre or simply need to take one for later in the week.