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It’s Time to Prioritise Indoor Air Quality Testing

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Indoor Air Quality Testing

Most of us never gave much thought to indoor air quality testing till now. The current COVID-19 pandemic has brought in its wake the realisation that:
• The quality of indoor air matters more than our estimation
• Indoor air quality is an indicator of the condition of our spaces
• A lot of indoor pollutants lurk in closed spaces and threaten our well-being
• Poor quality of indoor air causes nearly 50% of respiratory ailments
• Harmful elements like bacteria, dust, pollen, mold and others thrive in indoor air
• Pollution is much higher indoors than outside
• Current COVID-19 pandemic can spread rapidly if the quality of air is neglected
• It is possible to enhance the quality of indoor air for our well-being
• Routine air quality testing goes a long way in maintaining good health Indoor air quality testing experts assess the level of air quality and provide genuinely effective suggestions
• Gateway Mechanical Services, experts at indoor air quality testing, are equipped to conduct authentic air quality tests and offer the right solutions.

Consequences of Poor Air Quality

Poor indoor air quality may not be a commonly discussed topic, but it actually affects all of us in some way. Most of us spend the majority of our time indoors, be it at home, workplace or any other place with closed environs. The COVID-19 virus has laid bare the extent to which closed spaces affect our health. The contagion is just one example; a multitude of harmful elements lurk in closed premises and threaten our health.
Poor air quality is known to affect:
 Lives and means of support: People falling ill may lose the strength and ability to go to work. They lose their jobs, source of income and become financially weak.
 Economic condition in the long run: Absence at the workplace, hospital visits and medication costs have a big impact on the society and a nation’s economy.
 Our health by causing:
• Tiredness
• Headaches
• Asthma
• Breathing problems
• Irritation to skin, eyes, nose, etc.
• Psychological effects

 Climate
and many other aspects of our life.
The need for proactive measures to enhance the quality of indoor is therefore very important.

How to Enhance Quality of Indoor Air

While the effects of poor quality of indoor air are definitely unsettling, it is not difficult to overcome it. We need to first identify different pollutants that cause deterioration of air and tackle them accordingly. The first step to initiate the process of resolving the problem is testing the quality of indoor air. It is done with the help of Indoor Air Quality Testing, which specialists like Gateway. Mechanical Services offer in Canada.

Gateway Mechanical Services evaluates and examines the indoor air quality within a facility on the basis of following parameters:
• Carbon monoxide
• Carbon dioxide
• Ammonia
• Sulfur Dioxide
• Chlorine
• Hydrogen Sulfide
• Total volatile organic compounds
• Temperature
• Relative humidity
• Particulate counts for PM2.5 and PM10
• Formaldehyde
• Nitrogen Oxide
After assessing and testing, a detailed report on indoor air quality is prepared by the team. Remedial solutions are provided on the basis of issues that are detected within the spaces.
The process addresses the problems arising due to poor indoor air quality effectively so proper action can be taken to overcome the problem.

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Top doctor to update Albertans on COVID-19 pandemic as active cases peak – CTV News

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EDMONTON —
The chief medical officer of health will give a pandemic update Tuesday afternoon after active COVID-19 cases reached an all-time high in Alberta to start the week.

Alberta added 898 cases of the coronavirus over the weekend, a tally that increased the province’s confirmed infection count to 3,138 – a pandemic high.

The previous record was set on April 30 when Alberta had a reported 3,022 active cases.

The Edmonton zone still has the bulk of Alberta’s cases with 1,604, but the Calgary zone is experiencing a spike with 998 infections.

Alberta Health Services has reported more than 300 positive tests in a single day three times in October, including 356 cases on Sunday, though the province has never added more than 400 infections in one day during the pandemic.

Hospitals have 117 patients with COVID-19, including 18 people in intensive care.

The province has reported 22,673 cases and 292 deaths to date.

Watch Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s remarks at 3:30 p.m. live at CTVNewsEdmonton.ca.

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Appointments Needed This Year for Flu Shot Clinics – VOCM

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The public flu shot clinics begin tomorrow, but appointments are necessary this year because of the pandemic. No walk-ins will be permitted.

Appointments can be booked online using a new online tool: Health Myself.

Eastern Health

Central Health

Western Health

Labrador-Grenfell Health

People can also book an appointment by calling 709-273-3904 or toll-free 1-833-951-3904. Appointments have to be booked at least 24 hours in advance.

Stringent public health measures will be in place at the clinics; everyone will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and all must wear a mask.

A grant will be available to employers with over 100 employees who wish to hire a qualified health care provider to offer a workplace vaccination clinic. Flu vaccine and appropriate PPE will be provided to those employers.

The regional health authorities are working with the schools to offer the flu vaccine to students in grades 4-12.

Nearly 158,000 people in Newfoundland and Labrador got the shot last year.

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COVID-19 takes toll on physical health of young Canadians, scientists, school board find – CBC.ca

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Just five per cent of Canadian children met basic physical activity guidelines early on in the pandemic, which is why school phys-ed programs are now looking for alternatives to get students to work up a sweat in a safe fashion.

As a result of physical distancing measures and increased remote learning, children have had more sedentary time during the pandemic, and that has had implications for schools planning physical education.

The Toronto District School Board, for instance, has asked gym teachers to cancel fall fitness training after phys-ed instructors reported that students’ physical activity levels have been alarming so far.

“They’ve noticed that kids are out of breath immediately, so the lack of physical activity that’s taken place over the last seven months is showing,” said George Kourtis, who heads the TDSB’s phys-ed program.

Even so, educators say it’s imperative that kids get a workout of some sort. But that comes with challenges in a remote learning environment.

WATCH | Schools adjust as kids lacked exercise during lockdown:

At one point in the pandemic, only five per cent of Canadian children were meeting the minimum requirements for physical activity. Now, school phys-ed programs face new challenges in keeping kids moving without most team sports because of distancing requirements. 4:10

Jennifer Bell, a Grade 11 phys-ed teacher with TDSB’s virtual school, recently demonstrated lunges to a class by doing the movements toward her laptop screen. But the students had their cameras turned off, which makes the learning more difficult.

“How do we teach sports skills while you’re standing in your living room?” Bell said. “You don’t necessarily have another opponent or a partner to play a sport with. That’s where we’re trying to get creative.”

Physically distanced football

Getting creative includes activities like juggling to practise movement skills and having students regularly type in their 15-second heart rate measurements to show that their heart rate is increasing from the participation, Bell said.

Maryam Sabir, 14, is taking Grade 9 phys-ed in person in Toronto. Maryam said physical distancing rules put a new twist on learning to play football.

Sagier Abdul takes part in a football lesson at her Toronto high school earlier this month. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

“You had to stay six feet apart,” both horizontally and vertically, Maryam said. “You can’t really communicate with other people. It becomes harder to play in the game.”

Maryam said she enjoys being physically active. When the phys-ed class ends next month, she plans to continue to get a workout by playing basketball or soccer with friends.

Importance of movement

National health guidelines recommend that children and youth (aged 5-17 years) have high levels of physical activity, low levels of sedentary behaviour and sufficient sleep each day, including: 

  • An accumulation of at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity (such as walking quickly enough to still be able to talk but not sing).
  • Nine to 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night for those aged five to 13 and eight to 10 hours per night for those aged 14 to 17, with consistent bed and wake-up times.
  • No more than two hours per day of recreational screen time.

Mark Tremblay, a senior scientist in obesity at the CHEO Research Institute in Ottawa, was part of a team that surveyed more than 1,400 parents of children and youth online nationally in April, about a month after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in Canada.

Prior to the pandemic, about 15 per cent of kids met Canada’s 24-hour guidelines for physical activity, sedentary time and sleep, said Tremblay.

Kids do a workout in the park in Coronado, Calif., in March. Public health messaging about staying home is important, but it doesn’t mean you have to stay inside, said one obesity researcher. (Gregory Bull/Associated Press)

He found that movement levels had plunged as low as three per cent during the early days of the restrictions.

“Almost no Canadian kids were practising the healthy living behaviours that are associated with health, and that puts them at increased risk, of course, of physical and mental health issues going forward,” Tremblay said, which “is not what public health officials want.”

The study, published this summer in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, suggested that the pandemic wasn’t entirely to blame. But certain factors could increase the likelihood of healthy movement behaviours outside of school, including:

  • Parental encouragement and support.
  • Parents playing actively with their children.
  • Dog ownership.

The lack of physical activity was also influenced by children’s living arrangements. Kids who spent more time active outdoors were more likely to live in a house as opposed to a 40-story apartment building downtown where families may not feel safe playing outside, Tremblay said.

Tremblay said the public health messaging about staying home is important, “but it doesn’t mean stay inside.”

The scientists plan to repeat their survey on kids’ physical activity levels in early November.

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