Keep Communities Healthy by Making Built Spaces Safer
As the COVID-19 pandemic has made all too clear, the design, construction and management of the built spaces in which we live and work can have dramatic consequences on our health and the health of the planet. UO’s Institute for Health in the Built Environment blends research in multiple disciplines to explore what makes a building “healthy” and since the onset of the pandemic has played a prominent role in studying the virus’s behavior inside buildings and providing guidance on how to mitigate its spread.
Your support will help IHBE scale up environmental testing for coronavirus and develop real-time monitoring technology that will build a greater understanding of its prevalence in Oregon and beyond, helping leaders make more informed and precise decisions about building closures and stay-at-home orders. By focusing on buildings instead of only testing individuals, this work also avoids privacy concerns and limited availability of diagnostic tests. Researchers have already begun collecting samples from Oregon Health and Science University to support medical practices and have received multiple requests from locations across the country.
The IHBE is also developing plans to conduct regular environmental testing within UO buildings. With this data, campus leadership may be able to assess the relative risk of a COVID-19 outbreak and make informed decisions on when to alter operations, when to issue closures, and how to keep students, faculty, and staff as safe as possible.
In order to meet the growing demand and effectively launch campus testing, the Institute needs funding to manage samples and build a stockpile of materials. Additional funds could also purchase new equipment for IHBE, increasing testing capacity and reducing turnaround time and contamination risk.
Help officials make smarter decisions about quarantine and stay-at-home orders and keep communities across the country healthy and safe by making a gift today.