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Weekly COVID-19 Update: Tracking the Pandemic through the Seasons, a Nitric Oxide Trial for Patients, a Plugin for Safer Travel, and More

7/20/2020
ANSI News

The ANSI Federation and standardization community are stepping up with guidance, resources, and initiatives to support public health, safety, and infrastructure during the COVID-19 outbreak. ANSI is monitoring, sharing, and promoting appropriate news to highlight these efforts. Suggestions for news items may be submitted to pr@ansi.org. All submissions are published at ANSI's discretion.

ASHRAE to Host Course on Airflow Patterns, Airborne Contaminants

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) will host a free course on July 21, 2020, on the basics of airflow and particle dynamics to demonstrate how supply air flow paths, induced air flow paths, and exhaust grille placement can work collaboratively to establish protective and effective contaminant control in a typical patient room.

"Analysis of Airflow Patterns and Flow Path of Airborne Contaminants" will provide insights for HVAC design engineers, facility managers, infection prevention personnel, and building owners regarding the role of airflow patterns and resulting flow path of airborne contaminants.

For more information, or to register see ASHRAE's course description page.

Beyond Air Announces Nitric Oxide Therapy for COVID Patients

Beyond Air, a clinical-stage medical device and biopharmaceutical company, recently announced that the first patient has been enrolled in the U.S. clinical study using its LungFit™ system to treat COVID-19 with Nitric Oxide (NO) therapy. The company focuses on developing inhaled NO for the treatment of patients with respiratory conditions, including serious lung infections and pulmonary hypertension, and gaseous NO for the treatment of solid tumors.

"The global need to discover a safe and effective treatment for this virus is painfully apparent. We look forward to keeping everyone abreast of the study's progress over the coming weeks," said Steve Lisi, chairman and CEO of Beyond Air.

The first patient was enrolled at the Baptist Health Center for Clinical Research in Little Rock, Arkansas. "I believe the potential of an agent such as NO with both antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, delivered to the lungs, is great and we hope for a positive outcome," noted Dr. Richard G. Pellegrino Ph.D., president and CEO of Baptist Health Center for Clinical Research.

Read more about the clinical study in the company press statement.

NASA Announces Partnership with Space Agencies to Investigate Seasonal Shifts and COVID-19

Will COVID-19 cases spike during certain months? NASA researchers have teamed up with U.S. and international agencies, including the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, to investigate potential relationships between the spread of the novel coronavirus and seasonal shifts in humidity, temperature, rainfall, and other environmental variables.

The agency reports on its website that influenza and several types of coronaviruses are known to surge in the winter months, and that outbreaks of enteroviruses usually occur in the summer. It will work in concert with the other agencies to research seasonality and SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks.

NASA also reports that researchers will look to reanalysis datasets and models that generate consistent snapshots of Earth's atmosphere and land and water surfaces over large areas and long time periods. Such tools are useful for research on long-lasting global problems like climate change or the seasonality of an infectious disease. Find out more about the research via NASA's announcement.

Travelport Launches Plugin for Traveling During COVID

In its effort to provide travel agents with safety information and to support a safe and healthy return to travel, Travelport has announced the launch of its COVID-19 Smartpoint Plugin. Launched last week, the free plugin offers travel agencies with the latest information on government restrictions, lockdowns, entry, safety, and quarantine measures across the globe. The plugin is free for all Travelport customers globally, using Travelport Smartpoint 8.2 or above, and it can be downloaded directly from Travelport Marketplace.

"The travel ecosystem today is probably the most complex it has ever been, with government, airline, and hotel policies in every country constantly-changing," said Kyle Moore, global head of customer strategy and marketing. "We're making sure our agent partners no longer need to constantly leave their workflow to search for accurate and up-to-date information - greatly improving their efficiency in servicing their traveler customers."

The company also reports that in recent months, it has amplified efforts to support travel during the pandemic by creating the travel technology industry's first COVID-19 Resource Hub, which has information on travel supplier policy trackers, relevant news, and guides. It also contributed to the formation of various World Travel and Tourism Council protocols aimed at supporting a strong industry recovery.

See more Travelport efforts to support travel during COVID in the company's press announcement.

See more ANSI member efforts in the ANSI COVID-19 Resource Webpage Highlighting Standardization Community Response Efforts.

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