The COVID-19 pandemic is still evolving with daily new cases increasing globally as many regions experience another wave. Still more questions than answers remain to the many aspects of the pandemic. One important question that has emerged is: How can we minimize the risk of airborne infection transmission for any respiratory viruses in a countless number of congregate settings, (e.g., offices, schools, factories, residential aged care, cruise ships, etc.), where most of the population spends a substantial fraction of the day; working, studying, travelling, enjoying entertainment, resting and/or undergoing medical care as part of their daily lives? This question goes far beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The aim of the proposed project is to expand scientific knowledge and develop practical tools to improve the resilience of Australian indoor environments against airborne transmission of respiratory viruses. A multidisciplinary international team of collaborators has been brought together for this project, with scientific and professional expertise in aerosol science, virology, respiratory medicine, infectious diseases, epidemiology, modelling, engineering and management of public buildings, occupational hygiene, social science and shared critical facilities such as transport. The team will build on the foundations their members have established over the years in their respective areas of expertise using interdisciplinary approaches to airborne infection transmission.