As institutional and commercial facilities begin to resume operations after shutting down to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic, facility managers now must address a series of new challenges. What steps do they need to take to ensure facilities protect the health of workers? Do their plumbing systems pose health threats after sitting idle for weeks? What other unforeseen threats do facilities pose?
In the broader sense, managers are starting to get a sense of the way the public now perceives facilities, as well as the opportunities available to improve indoor health.
“It turns out that while dense urban conditions can aid the spread of viral illness, buildings can also act as barriers to contamination. It’s a control strategy that is not getting the attention it deserves,” writes Joseph Allen, director of the Healthy Buildings program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in The New York Times. “If managed poorly, they can spread disease. But if we get it right, we can enlist our schools, offices, and homes in this fight.”