Can portable air cleaners protect against getting COVID-19?
Similar to building filtration, there is no direct clinical evidence of the benefit of portable air cleaners for reducing infectious disease risk. However, some benefit can reasonably be inferred for appropriately sized (e.g., their removal rate is appropriate for the room), maintained and operated portable HEPA filters. As with building filtration, the details are important (e.g., efficiency and airflow rate of the air cleaner, sizing and placement within the space, maintenance and filter change, nature of space that is being cleaned) and appropriate portable filtration is likely only to be effective in concert with other measures.
For specifics about the University's management of HVAC systems in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, see the July 17 Enews update on WVU HVAC systems and COVID-19.