COVID Update 9/28/2020
Caryl Community Center Reopening Announcement
At Dover’s COVID-19 Task Force meeting of 9.25.20, members reviewed and discussed an engineering consulting firm’s report on air quality at the Caryl Community Center. Their report is available here. In summary, they found that the Caryl building does not meet minimum standards for fresh air replacement, filtration, or for control of building ventilation systems. The Board of Health was asked for its recommendation about continuing with the opening of Caryl and specifically whether the CDC should be permitted to hold their programs indoors at this time. The Board of Health recommended keeping the Caryl facility closed to the public until the changes recommended by the consulting firm can be fully evaluated. We expect this to happen over the next 4-6 weeks.
Over the last few months, it has become increasingly clear to members of the Dover and Sherborn Boards of Health and Dover’s COVID-19 Task Force that coronavirus transmission occurs through the spread of airborne respiratory particles that contain active virus. In indoor spaces, the infectious particles can be released into the air and linger there up to several hours when someone with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, talks or simply breathes. When this occurs in spaces that lack adequate ventilation with fresh air, there is greater potential for viral spread. Increasingly, epidemiologists and other scientists recommend addressing indoor air quality in order to minimize risk, along with masking and social distancing. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the Healthy Buildings program at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health offer detailed information about air quality.
In August, as part of the town’s re-opening planning, the Board of Health and the Town Administrator decided to address town building air quality by engaging an engineering firm with expertise in air quality and the role it plays in the spread of coronavirus. After reviewing proposals from several firms, they chose to engage Buro Happold for the assessment. The consultants initiated their engagement by assessing the air quality in the Town’s older buildings. Needless to say, the report on the air quality in the Caryl Community Center has profound implications for all the programs that use the building. A working group, including the consultant, will now meet to evaluate options for addressing the deficiencies identified. This group will assess various remediation strategies, taking into account the particular conditions of actual rooms used for activities, the number of people typically attending programs and the type of activities being offered. We recognize the need to move quickly and judiciously to deal with the building's inadequacies as the Caryl Building Committee continues its work to present options for the building project, Renovate/Build New, in 2021