COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on our ability to gather in large groups indoors. In fact, gatherings over a certain size have been tightly regulated by many local and state governments since the pandemic began in early 2020.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), increasing the number of interactions with others, as well as the duration of those interactions, can heighten a person’s risk of becoming infected with COVID-19. That’s why large, in-person gatherings that make it difficult for people to maintain social distancing are considered to carry the highest risk of transmission.

But as we learn more about the coronavirus and how to reduce spread, many organizations and institutions have successfully implemented solutions for making indoor gatherings safer. When coupled with measures like mask-wearing and social distancing as well as rigorous cleaning and sanitization practices, indoor air quality solutions such as GPS’ needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI®) technology can tackle pathogens and help create healthier indoor environments for in-person gatherings.

What is needlepoint bipolar ionization?

Pathogens such as SARS-CoV2, the new strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19, can reside on surfaces and be suspended in the air we breathe. NPBI technology is designed to mitigate these harmful pathogens by safely creating and releasing ions via a building’s existing HVAC system.

As the ions disperse throughout a space, they seek out and form bonds with particles (air contaminants) in the air through a process called agglomeration. Subsequently, as these particles begin to cluster together, HVAC systems are able to filter them out of the air more easily.

How can NPBI make indoor events safer in the age of COVID-19?

In the case of SARS-CoV2 and other pathogens, contact with positive and negative ions has microbicidal effects, ultimately disrupting their surface proteins and rendering them inactive. Independent laboratory studies have shown that NPBI technology limits the spread of viruses such as SARS-CoV2, MRSA and E. coli.

Not just for large venues such as arenas and stadiums, NPBI is designed to address indoor air quality (including pathogen control) in churches, restaurants, theaters and other smaller venues. For example, Florida’s Broadway Palm dinner theater identified the technology as a cost-effective way to help safely welcome staff and guests, many of whom are 65 and older, back into the building in 2020. On the flip side, North Carolina’s UNC Pembroke was able to safely offer in-person learning after installing NPBI in most of its campus buildings. The installation covered large gathering spaces such as the cafeteria, the gym, the library and the student union.

Indoor events don’t have to be a thing of the past. Learn more about how NPBI safely and effectively reduces viruses and other pathogens in public gathering spaces.