Legislature(2019 - 2020)ANCH LIO DENALI Rm

12/02/2020 02:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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02:03:02 PM Start
02:03:22 PM Presentation(s): Covid-19 Workplace Safety Roundtable
03:43:35 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Teleconference <Listen Only> --
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Presentation: COVID-19 Workplace Safety TELECONFERENCED
Roundtable
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                       Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                        
                        December 2, 2020                                                                                        
                           2:03 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Zack Fields, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative    Jonathan    Kreiss-Tomkins,    Co-Chair    (via                                                               
teleconference)                                                                                                                 
Representative Andi Story (via teleconference)                                                                                  
Representative Steve Thompson (via teleconference)                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grier Hopkins                                                                                                    
Representative Sarah Vance                                                                                                      
Representative Laddie Shaw                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly Merrick (via teleconference)                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION(S): COVID-19 WORKPLACE SAFETY ROUNDTABLE                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
KELSEY DAVIDSON                                                                                                                 
American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)                                                                                   
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-provided a PowerPoint presentation,                                                                   
entitled "Safe Return to the Workplace and Public Buildings,"                                                                   
dated 12/2/2020.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DANA NUNN                                                                                                                       
American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Co-provided  a  PowerPoint  presentation,                                                             
entitled  "Safe Return  to the  Workplace and  Public Buildings,"                                                               
dated 12/2/2020.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MARY KNOPF                                                                                                                      
Fellow American Society of Interior Designers (FASID)                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Co-provided  a  PowerPoint  presentation,                                                             
entitled  "Safe Return  to the  Workplace and  Public Buildings,"                                                               
dated 12/2/2020.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CRAIG ROHWER                                                                                                                    
American Society of  Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning                                                               
Engineers (ASHRAE)                                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Co-provided  a  PowerPoint  presentation,                                                             
entitled  "Safe Return  to the  Workplace and  Public Buildings,"                                                               
dated 12/2/2020.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
KEITH WRITGHTSON, Health & Safety Specialist                                                                                    
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees                                                                    
Derwood, Maryland                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:     Provided  a   PowerPoint  presentation,                                                             
entitled "COVID-19 Workplace Safety."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:03:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  ZACK FIELDS  called the  House  State Affairs  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at  [2:03] p.m.  Representatives Story                                                               
(via   teleconference),    Representative   Kreiss-Tomkins   (via                                                               
teleconference), and  Fields were present  at the call  to order.                                                               
Representative  Thompson  (via  teleconference)  arrived  as  the                                                               
meeting  was  in  progress.    Also  present  was  Representative                                                               
Merrick (via teleconference).                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION(S):  COVID-19 Workplace Safety Roundtable                                                                         
     PRESENTATION(S):  COVID-19 Workplace Safety Roundtable                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:03:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS announced  that the only order  of business would                                                               
be a  presentation on  COVID-19 workplace  safety.   He explained                                                               
that  the  hearing would  be  an  informational presentation  for                                                               
building owners  and managers on  ways to  reconfigure workplaces                                                               
to help keep people safe.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:04:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KELSEY DAVIDSON,  American Society of Interior  Designers (ASID),                                                               
co-provided a  PowerPoint presentation, entitled "Safe  Return to                                                               
the Workplace and  Public Buildings."  She  directed attention to                                                               
slide 1  and read the  preface and ASID's  presentation statement                                                               
as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Preface:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Service-providers,  businesses  and  institutions  face                                                                    
     the necessity  of creating  Covid-responsive workplaces                                                                    
     and   public   buildings,   addressing  an   array   of                                                                    
     infection-control safety  measures. These  impact space                                                                    
     utilization and  planning, building  sustainability and                                                                    
     wellness,  individual comfort  and safety,  cleanliness                                                                    
     and disinfection,  mitigating touchpoint contamination,                                                                    
     and promotion of operational-procedural interventions.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ASID Presentation Statement:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Commercial interior design is  rooted in the concept of                                                                    
     Evidence-Based   Design,   especially   applicable   as                                                                    
     science  evolves on  the  novel Coronavirus,  Covid-19.                                                                    
     How we  address infection mitigation in  the design and                                                                    
     outfitting of  workplace environments is based  on best                                                                    
     practices  learned   through  current  science   as  it                                                                    
     continues to  evolve. Although we can't  eliminate risk                                                                    
     in the workplace, we  can implement flexible approaches                                                                    
     and  solutions   that  allow  us   to  feel   safe  and                                                                    
     comfortable in  the places we work,  learn, live, heal,                                                                    
     and recreate.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:06:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAVIDSON continued to slide 2 and stated that the                                                                           
presentation would address the following frequently asked                                                                       
questions [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     1. How  do we determine  if our workplace is  ready for                                                                    
     re-occupancy?                                                                                                              
     2. If our  building owners don't replace  or update our                                                                    
     air system,  how might  we mitigate  airborne infection                                                                    
     within our individual suite?                                                                                               
     3. Do  portable air purifiers disinfect  the air? Could                                                                    
     we use multiples around the office?                                                                                        
     4. How can we mitigate touchpoint contamination?                                                                           
     5. I think our staff is nervous about returning to the                                                                     
      office building. How can we make sure it's safe and                                                                       
     help them feel ok about it?                                                                                                
       6. What modifications can be implemented with very                                                                       
     limited funds?                                                                                                             
      7. How do these solutions vary for schools, prisons,                                                                      
     hotels, restaurants?                                                                                                       
       8. What is HVAC and how can it help me get back to                                                                       
     work?                                                                                                                      
       9. Why is the finish on our waiting area furniture                                                                       
     suddenly failing?                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:08:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DANA  NUNN,  American  Society   of  Interior  Designers  (ASID),                                                               
introduced herself as a commercial  interior designer and project                                                               
manager  based in  Anchorage.    She said  her  17-year focus  on                                                               
safety,   accessible   universal  design,   sustainability,   and                                                               
wellness  is founded  on  an  integrative, evidence-based  design                                                               
process.    She noted  that  recently,  she participated  in  the                                                               
International WELL  Building Institute's task force  studying the                                                               
role buildings can  play in reducing the health  burden of COVID-                                                               
19 and other respiratory infections.   She added that she leads a                                                               
team of  six interior designers  as the Interior  Design Director                                                               
for Bettisworth North.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:09:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY  KNOPF,  Fellow  American   Society  of  Interior  Designers                                                               
(FASID), informed  the committee that  she is a  Washington State                                                               
University  (WSU) graduate  with  35 years  of commercial  design                                                               
experience  in  Alaska.    She  noted  that  she  has  served  as                                                               
president of the Alaska chapter of  ASID and on the ASID national                                                               
board of directors.  She explained  that her focus is on creating                                                               
safe,   healthy,  and   sustainable  interior   environments  for                                                               
education,      office,     hospitality,      healthcare,     and                                                               
public/institutional  buildings.    She  added   that  she  is  a                                                               
principal with  ECI, an architectural,  planning and  design firm                                                               
in Anchorage.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:10:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CRAIG  ROHWER, American  Society of  Heating, Refrigerating,  and                                                               
Air-Conditioning  Engineers  (ASHRAE),   introduced  himself  and                                                               
provided a short  history of his work experience  as a specialist                                                               
in  mechanical  air  systems  and  products.    He  informed  the                                                               
committee  that  he served  six  years  on  the Alaska  board  of                                                               
directors  for  ASHRAE,  educating  Alaska's  members  on  topics                                                               
relevant to the region and climate.   With a degree in mechanical                                                               
engineering, he shared his passion  for energy and cost-efficient                                                               
systems,  as well  as  improving  air filtration/purification  to                                                               
mitigate virus transmission.   He added that currently,  he is an                                                               
account manager with Trane in Anchorage.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:10:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAVIDSON  resumed the  presentation on  slide 5  and outlined                                                               
the  agenda,  which  included workplace  screening,  circulation,                                                               
space planning,  and partitions; sustainable,  healthy buildings,                                                               
and  the human  factor; cleaning,  sanitizing, disinfecting,  and                                                               
operational   interventions;    mechanical   systems    and   air                                                               
filtration.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:11:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NUNN  explained that  she  works  with  a range  of  Alaskan                                                               
clients,   including  agencies,   school  districts,   healthcare                                                               
organizations,  as well  as recreation,  retail, and  hospitality                                                               
businesses  and building  owners.   In  all cases,  she said  her                                                               
clients have been looking for a  "silver bullet" in the effort to                                                               
overcome  COVID-19 and  return  to  normal.   She  stated that  a                                                               
multi-pronged approach that addresses  human behavior, changes to                                                               
business environments, and  operational adjustments are necessary                                                               
for greatest impact  in this pandemic.  She  recommended a longer                                                               
view, investments  in improvements for long-term  resilience, and                                                               
solutions that have  value for the current  situation and beyond.                                                               
When implementing coronavirus-specific  solutions, she encourages                                                               
clients to adopt flexible strategies  to avoid getting stuck with                                                               
an expensive  approach that cannot  be easily  removed, expanded,                                                               
or  modified as  new  evidence informs  more specific  solutions.                                                               
She pointed out that businesses  and organizations have different                                                               
requirements  to meet  in order  to  maintain operations  through                                                               
COVID-19, and those requirements are  always changing.  She added                                                               
that state  and local mandates  add complexity to  the collective                                                               
pandemic  response,  and  designers   continue  to  follow  those                                                               
developments closely to advise  clients of their responsibilities                                                               
and options  to meet them  within their spaces.   Ultimately, she                                                               
said,  national and  local public  health experts  are her  first                                                               
points of  reference for  information about  the disease  and how                                                               
best to mitigate transmission.   She noted that OSHA requirements                                                               
for workplace  safety still  apply and, in  some cases,  have new                                                               
implications since  many employees are now  handling cleaning and                                                               
disinfection   duties   or   encountering  other   new   hazards.                                                               
Additionally, accessibility requirements,  in accordance with the                                                               
ADA  still   apply,  so  businesses  must   continue  to  provide                                                               
reasonable  accommodation  where  new operations  and  distancing                                                               
protocols may  impede access.   She  observed that  as businesses                                                               
begin   to   implement  coronavirus-response   plans,   screening                                                               
occupants  at  building  entry  points  has  become  "the  norm."                                                               
Smaller  organizations  are   handling  screening  with  handheld                                                               
thermometers  and a  logbook to  support  contact tracing,  while                                                               
others have  deployed iPads  with specific  apps to  conduct more                                                               
discreet screening.   More recently,  she said some  clients have                                                               
implemented  automated screening  systems at  entry points  using                                                               
thermal cameras to  confirm or discreetly discourage  entry.  The                                                               
available  systems range  widely  from  fancy cameras  integrated                                                               
into  networks   and  security  systems  or   simpler,  localized                                                               
application-based  systems.     She  noted  that   Alaska's  cold                                                               
temperatures  have   impacted  the  efficacy  of   the  "fancier"                                                               
systems; therefore, she encourages her clients to utilize iPads.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NUNN  recapped her  work  on  modifying circulation  through                                                               
buildings  and suits,  establishing  separate  entrance and  exit                                                               
points,  implementing  one-way  traffic  patterns,  and  widening                                                               
circulation paths  wherever possible; all to  minimize overlap of                                                               
the  six-foot  bubble.   She  explained  that exiting  access  to                                                               
restrooms, elevators,  and stairs, as well  as security concerns,                                                               
are all considered when studying  and developing strategies.  She                                                               
emphasized  that  modified  circulation should  not  impede  life                                                               
safety  features  within  buildings.   She  stated  that  altered                                                               
circulation  plans are  most successful  with clear  signage that                                                               
indicates how  to proceed  and reinforces  when people  are going                                                               
the  right way.   She  shared that  some businesses  have adopted                                                               
operational   solutions  to   help  manage   occupant  load   and                                                               
circulation; for example, healthcare  clients are limiting access                                                               
to waiting rooms to stagger  patients and provide enough time for                                                               
cleaning between encounters.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:16:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NUNN  directed  attention  to  slide  6,  which  highlighted                                                               
workplace practices.   She explained that at  her own businesses,                                                               
they  immediately  conducted  an office  analysis  and  developed                                                               
plans  to  reduce  occupant density,  implemented  protocols  for                                                               
sharing  spaces  and  amenities,  and  identified  locations  for                                                               
hygiene and cleaning stations.   She said she has since completed                                                               
similar  studies for  many clients  throughout the  sate to  help                                                               
them understand  and plan  how to bring  their workforce  back to                                                               
the office,  either in full  or in a "modified  shift situation."                                                               
In some cases, plans were  created for temporary expanded offices                                                               
to support  larger teams of  businesses with more  traffic; other                                                               
times, offices  were rearranged to  provide a greater  variety of                                                               
workstation  types to  accommodate drop-ins  for people  that are                                                               
primarily working remotely  but may need to come  into the office                                                               
occasionally.  In all cases,  she conveyed that universal masking                                                               
combined with distancing inside  businesses and public facilities                                                               
is imperative regardless  how spacious the building  or suite may                                                               
be.    She added  that  it's  important  to develop  and  enforce                                                               
guidelines  for  the use  of  shared  spaces, like  print  areas,                                                               
breakrooms,   and   meeting    spaces;   also,   to   communicate                                                               
expectations for  masking or other  practices in  private offices                                                               
versus open  work areas.   She noted  that if  leadership doesn't                                                               
consistently  demonstrate compliance  with  the  new plans,  it's                                                               
quite unlikely that employees or customers would either.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. NUNN relayed  that a well-designed hybrid  plan that provides                                                               
choice in  the settings individuals  and groups need to  work and                                                               
collaborate  has  been  discussed  in the  design  community  for                                                               
years,  but businesses  and agencies  have been  slow to  adopt a                                                               
more flexible  plan.   She offered her  belief that  the pandemic                                                               
would  change that.   Furthermore,  she pointed  out that  remote                                                               
work   eliminates   the   potential  for   transmission   between                                                               
employees.  She opined that  going forward, the virtual workplace                                                               
would  remain a  prominent aspect  of workplace  design; however,                                                               
she recognized that it's critical  in some situations that people                                                               
come together  for collaboration  and improved productivity.   To                                                               
that  end, she  indicated  that the  flexible  hybrid plan  would                                                               
support that dual modality.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NUNN  continued  to  explain  that  workstation  panels  and                                                               
partitions  are  part of  the  discussion,  but there  are  mixed                                                               
reviews on how  much separation is helpful versus  a hindrance to                                                               
safety  or   a  contribution  to  employee   complacency  in  the                                                               
infection  control protocols.    She emphasized  her interest  in                                                               
working  together with  allied  disciplines  to create  healthier                                                               
interior environments  without degrading  the desired  effects of                                                               
building improvements.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:19:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS asked how design  recommendations have evolved in                                                               
response  to   the  emerging  science  about   aerosolized  virus                                                               
transmission.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NUNN noted  that  there  is emerging  research  from MIT  on                                                               
interior  design implications.    She  said ultimately,  everyone                                                               
should  have  a mask  to  capture  larger  droplets and  some  of                                                               
aerosolized   particles  from   speaking.     Beyond  that,   she                                                               
encouraged a slightly  lower level of partition  because a higher                                                               
level could  potentially create eddies  in the air  system, which                                                               
are  pockets of  stagnating air  where viral  loads could  build.                                                               
She  noted  that  the  results  of  that  research  are  not  yet                                                               
definitive,  but it  indicates that  lower partitions  help block                                                               
the larger particles.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:22:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KNOPF  resumed the presentation  on slide 7,  which addressed                                                               
sustainable, healthy buildings and the  human factor.  She stated                                                               
that  the  Center  for  Disease   Control  (CDC)  defines  indoor                                                               
environmental  quality (IEG)  as "the  building's environment  in                                                               
relation to  the health and  wellbeing of those who  occupy space                                                               
within it."   She stated  that in considering returning  to work,                                                               
the human  factor must  be considered.   She reported  that there                                                               
has  been  a  major  shift  in work  life  balance,  as  well  as                                                               
opportunities to rethink the office  environment.  Employers must                                                               
have  protocols and  policies in  place to  mitigate the  stress,                                                               
physical,  and  mental  safety   concerns  of  returning  to  the                                                               
workplace.  She  said employees who see their  employers care and                                                               
provide  a   safe  environment  experience  much   less  anxiety.                                                               
Furthermore, she  pointed out  that healthy  buildings contribute                                                               
to  the health  of occupants,  including simplified  finishes and                                                               
clean spaces  clear.  Additionally,  life stages are a  factor to                                                               
consider  in  determining how  to  return  to work  with  reduced                                                               
occupancy.     Younger  employees  require  more   structure  and                                                               
mentorship   while   seasoned   staff  might   prefer   to   work                                                               
individually.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KNOPF relayed  the importance  of recognizing  how interiors                                                               
impact  indoor  air  quality.     She  explained  that  selecting                                                               
materials  and furnishings  that  support  a healthy  environment                                                               
could impact  both mental and  physical health.  She  stated that                                                               
people  spend  90  percent of  their  time  inside;  accordingly,                                                               
limiting VOCs, caustic chemicals,  and plastics improves air that                                                               
is  breathed.    She  added   that  select  materials  assist  in                                                               
mitigating dust, mold, and mildew  habitats.  Ms. Knopf continued                                                               
to explain  that thermal  and acoustical  comfort is  impacted by                                                               
furniture  configuration, which  affects  air  circulation.   She                                                               
recommended  creating  "private  quiet  respite  zones"  in  open                                                               
offices to  allow employees to  take a break or  complete focused                                                               
work.    She  said  there   are  options  to  introduce  acoustic                                                               
materials,  such  as lighting;  ceiling  and  wall finishes;  and                                                               
furniture finishes.  She indicated  that since 1991, studies have                                                               
affirmed the  power of  nature to reduce  anxiety.   She reported                                                               
that  natural  light,  views,  and   the  use  of  organic  forms                                                               
contribute  to comfortable,  healthy interiors.   In  addition to                                                               
air flow,  modifications to  space configuration  provides better                                                               
views   to   extend   daylight;  additionally,   certain   window                                                               
treatments  let light  and views  through  while reducing  glare.                                                               
Lastly,   she  introduced   several   green  building   programs,                                                               
including  the  Leadership  in Energy  and  Environmental  Design                                                               
(LEAD),  International   Living  Future  Institute   (ILFI),  and                                                               
International WELL  Building Institute  (IWBI).  She  stated that                                                               
moving forward,  interior designers would continue  improving and                                                               
adjusting interior  solutions to  provide the best  possible safe                                                               
and healthy interior environments using current best practices.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:26:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NUNN turned  attention  to slide  8  and reviewed  cleaning,                                                               
sanitizing,  disinfecting, and  operational  interventions.   She                                                               
explained  that although  COVID-19 is  primarily transferred  via                                                               
droplets and aerosols, touchpoint  contamination is a factor that                                                               
can  be  managed  with  behavioral  changes,  effective  cleaning                                                               
protocols,  and  hands-free solutions.    She  said frequent  and                                                               
proper  hand  hygiene  with  basic   soap  and  water  is  highly                                                               
effective in  reducing the  spread of  COVID-19 by  degrading the                                                               
virus's  lipid encapsulation,  essentially  destroying the  virus                                                               
altogether.  Hand sanitizer with  a high alcohol content disables                                                               
the virus, but does not  destroy it; therefore, hand sanitizer is                                                               
effective,  but not  the "go-to"  for  ideal hand  hygiene.   She                                                               
stated  that thoughtful  planning  of  workspaces and  businesses                                                               
makes it easier for people to  practice the habit.  She suggested                                                               
evaluating  need, proximity,  ease  of  access, and  alternatives                                                               
when  soap  and  water  washing is  not  feasible;  additionally,                                                               
accounting  for supply  and upkeep.   She  recommended minimizing                                                               
touchpoint contamination  by reducing the frequency  of person to                                                               
person  contact and  contact with  high touch  surfaces.   Proper                                                               
cleaning/disinfection  is  another  way  to  mitigate  touchpoint                                                               
contamination.  She emphasized  the  importance of  understanding                                                               
the  difference  between  cleaning   and  disinfecting,  so  that                                                               
effective procedures  are developed and deployed.   She explained                                                               
that cleaning reduces  the number of germs,  dirt, and impurities                                                               
on a surface, while disinfectant kills  the germs a surface.  She                                                               
noted that  the CDC maintains  that cleaning is  necessary before                                                               
disinfection is even  possible.  The dual action  of cleaning and                                                               
disinfecting further lowers the  risk of spreading infection, she                                                               
said.   She pointed out that  without observing the dwell  time -                                                               
the time it takes a product  to work on a surface, as recommended                                                               
by  the manufacturer  -  effective  disinfection isn't  possible.                                                               
Furthermore,  not all  disinfectants  are  effective against  all                                                               
viruses,  so  it's  important  to  verify  the  effectiveness  of                                                               
preferred products.   She recommended referencing  the EPA's list                                                               
to confirm  products' effectiveness  and dwell time;  further, to                                                               
implement  the "uncluttered  surface policy"  to allow  custodial                                                               
staff to clean and disinfect workspaces thoroughly.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NUNN continued  to explain  that  cleaning and  disinfection                                                               
protocols  and   products  have  a  significant   impact  on  the                                                               
durability   and   life   of  interior   finish   materials   and                                                               
furnishings,  especially  porous  products, like  wood  finishes,                                                               
plastics,  leather, and  upholsteries.   She  noted that  fogging                                                               
devices often use bleach or  hydrogen peroxide, which could leave                                                               
bleach  spots or  come  to  rest on  coffee  cups and  glassware,                                                               
posing a  risk of  injection.  Additionally,  UV light,  which is                                                               
effective in the right dosage,  can also rapidly degrade and fade                                                               
interior  surfaces, like  plastic  laminate cabinetry,  flooring,                                                               
paint,  upholstery, artwork,  or  students'  outerwear stored  in                                                               
classroom cubbies.   Ultimately, she  said, the best  strategy in                                                               
combatting  COVID-19  and  building community  resilience  is  to                                                               
adopt  an  integrated  approach  to planning  and  design.    She                                                               
recommended engaging  stakeholders, as  well as those  that might                                                               
not  normally  be part  of  higher-level  conversations, such  as                                                               
custodial    and   environmental    services   staff,    facility                                                               
maintenance, and  various team leaders  that would  implement the                                                               
plans.      Lastly,    she   encouraged   regular   communication                                                               
demonstrating  commitment  to  plans,  providing  employees  with                                                               
proper training, and enforcing new protocols.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:35:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROHWER directed  attention to  slide 9,  which provided  the                                                               
following  outline   for  the   remainder  of   the  presentation                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     1. COVID: WHO/CDC and ASHRAE Recommendations                                                                               
          a. Modes of Transmission                                                                                              
               i. Close Contact/large droplet transmission                                                                      
               "Most     Common"                                                                                                
               ii. Airborne/small droplet transmission                                                                          
               "Sometimes"                                                                                                      
               iii. Surface/contact points  "less commo                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     2. The Four Key Areas of Indoor Air Quality                                                                                
          a. Dilute  Increase Ventilation with outdoor air                                                                      
          b. Exhaust  Keep exhausts running                                                                                     
          c. Contain  Control indoor humidity                                                                                   
          d. Clean  Safely use air cleaning technology                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     3. Mitigation Technologies                                                                                                 
          a.  GOOD      MERV  1-8,   Electrostatic  filters,                                                                    
          Surface Coatings                                                                                                      
          b. BETTER   MERV 9-16,  UV, H2O2, Air Ionization &                                                                    
          Ozone Generators                                                                                                      
          c. BEST  HEPA, Photo Catalytic Oxidation                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROHWER  turned attention  to slide  10 and  said he  would be                                                               
focusing on  indoor air  quality and how  to clean  and sterilize                                                               
that space.   He  continued to slide  11, which  highlighted four                                                               
methods  for  controlling indoor  air  quality  and read  in  its                                                               
entirety as follows:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Dilute                                                                                                                     
     ? Disable CO2 control                                                                                                      
     ? Increase minimum outdoor-air airflow                                                                                     
     ? Operate air-handling equipment  with 100% outdoor air                                                                    
     (no recirculation), when outdoor conditions allow                                                                          
     ?  Provide   Temporary  and  Permanent   Solutions  for                                                                    
     additional capacity                                                                                                        
     ? Keep  ventilation systems operating 24/7,  even if at                                                                    
     lower airflows                                                                                                             
     ? Implement pre- and  post-occupancy purge sequences to                                                                    
     flush building with outdoor air                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Exhaust                                                                                                                    
     ? Keep restroom exhaust operating 24/7                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Contain                                                                                                                    
     ?  Modify system  to maintain  indoor humidity  between                                                                    
     40% and 60% relative                                                                                                       
     ?  Add humidifiers  where appropriate  and possible  to                                                                    
     increase humidity in winter                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Clean                                                                                                                      
     ? Upgrade  filters to MERV-13 (or  higher, if possible)                                                                    
     and ensure effective air seals                                                                                             
     ? Add  portable room  air cleaners  with HEPA  or high-                                                                    
     MERV filters                                                                                                               
     ? Add ultraviolet (UV)  lamps in ductwork, air-handling                                                                    
     units, or upper region of the room                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS inquired as to the appropriate number of times                                                                  
to replace the air in a room or structure per hour.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:39:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROHWER  said most  engineers are  designing around  three air                                                               
changes per hour.   He recommended pushing it to  six air changes                                                               
per  hour  for  pre-  and   post-flushing,  which  may  push  the                                                               
boundaries of what the system can do.   He added that if a system                                                               
can't do six, the recommendation is  to do as much as possible to                                                               
stir up  any dust or viral  particles that could be  suspended in                                                               
the air and help flush them out of the facility.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:40:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROHWER returned to slide 11.   He noted that multiple studies                                                               
found  that  viruses and  bacteria  propagate  and spread  faster                                                               
below  40  percent  humidity  and   above  60  percent  humidity;                                                               
consequently, the  goal is to  keep indoor humidity  between that                                                               
narrow range, which can be done by adding humidifiers.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  surmised  that  the  average  Anchorage  office                                                               
building cannot  get above  60 percent  relative humidity  in the                                                               
winter even with a portable indoor  humidifier.  He asked if that                                                               
is a reasonable assumption.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROHWER answered  yes.   He  anecdotally  reported that  most                                                               
[Anchorage] office buildings are  leaky, which makes it difficult                                                               
to  increase  humidity  above  50  percent in  the  summer.    He                                                               
suggested  studying  the  space  to ensure  that  the  amount  of                                                               
moisture  wouldn't  cause  condensation  or  other  high-humidity                                                               
issues.    Nonetheless, in  general,  he  maintained that  adding                                                               
humidification is not harmful to building [spaces].                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:43:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROHWER  returned to slide  11 and  said cleaning is  the last                                                               
area of indoor air quality,  which involves upgrading filtration,                                                               
adding mechanical  cleaning systems, injecting  air sterilization                                                               
into  air streams,  and UV  lights.   He continued  to slide  12,                                                               
which  outlined  "good"  mitigation   technologies  and  read  as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     1. GOOD:                                                                                                                   
     a. MERV 1-8 Filters                                                                                                      
          a. Install filters if none are present                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     b. Electrostatic Filters                                                                                                 
        a. Charged filters to "attract" particulates in                                                                         
     the air stream                                                                                                             
          b. More costly than standard filters but can                                                                          
     replace existing filters or augment HEPA filtration                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     c. Surface Coatings                                                                                                      
        a. Potential for microbiological destruction on                                                                         
       surfaces such as coils, countertops, door handles,                                                                       
     etc.                                                                                                                       
         b. Does not effectively counter airborne micro-                                                                        
     biologicals                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROHWER  explained that filters  are rated in  "MERV" (minimum                                                               
efficiency reporting values),  which ranges from 1-16.   He noted                                                               
that  MERV 8  is considered  the  standard in  office and  retail                                                               
spaces.   He recommended  upgrading to  a minimum  of MERV  8 and                                                               
increasing  the  frequency at  which  filters  are changed.    He                                                               
continued to  electrostatic filters, explaining  that electricity                                                               
charges the filter  and attracts particles to stick  to it, which                                                               
requires a  lower rated  MERV filter.   Lastly,  Surface coatings                                                               
require an  extensive input, such  as titanium dioxide  or silver                                                               
compounds,  which  are applied  to  a  surface that  has  natural                                                               
microbial  properties  to  reject  or  kill  virus  or  bacterial                                                               
compounds.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:46:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROHWER  directed attention  to slide  13, which  depicted the                                                               
effect of MERV  filters on influenza A virus.   He indicated that                                                               
MERV 8 - the code standard  - captured 11 percent of flu virions;                                                               
MERV 13 -  ASHRAE's current recommendation -  captured 46 percent                                                               
of flu virions;  MERV 15 captured 71 percent of  flu virions.  He                                                               
pointed  out  that HEPA  filters  capture  99.97 percent  of  all                                                               
particles that filter  through it, making it  the "gold standard"                                                               
of filtration systems.  Slide  14 highlighted "better" mitigation                                                               
technologies:  MERV  9-16   filters  and  ultraviolet  germicidal                                                               
irradiation (UVGI).                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  asked whether  it's possible  to replace  MERV 8                                                               
filters with HEPA filters in Anchorage office buildings.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:50:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROHWER  said HEPA  filters can be  used portably  or building                                                               
wide.   He  explained that  a portable  air cleaner  with a  HEPA                                                               
filter is plugged  into the wall and recirculates  the air within                                                               
that space.  Contrarily, replacing a  MERV 8 filter with a higher                                                               
rated filter  would require a  quick analysis by an  engineer and                                                               
the building manager to determine  whether the increase in energy                                                               
is feasible.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS asked how often  portable HEPA filters need to be                                                               
replaced.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROHWER said it depends.   He explained that most HEPA filters                                                               
are designed to  last six months; however,  he suggested checking                                                               
with the manufacturer  to determine the lifespan  of the specific                                                               
piece of  equipment.  He  noted that hospital  facilities replace                                                               
HEPA filters on a 3-6-month cycle.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:52:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROHWER resumed  slide 14  and  explained that  UVGI uses  UV                                                               
bulbs, or "C-band,"  to irradiate.  He stated that  the UV lights                                                               
are  less effective  in an  air stream  and more  effective in  a                                                               
portable  system.    Slide 15  continued  to  highlight  "better"                                                               
mitigation technologies [original punctuation provided]:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     2. BETTER:                                                                                                                 
     a. Hydrogen Peroxide Generators                                                                                          
          a.   Introduces   gas  phase   hydrogen   peroxide                                                                    
     directly  to the  space to  provide active  reaction in                                                                    
     the zone  (air does NOT need  to return to air  unit to                                                                    
     be treated)                                                                                                                
          b. Actively treats both air and surfaces                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     b. Bipolar Ionization & Ozone Generation                                                                                 
     a.  Ion   Production  -  Produces  both   Positive  and                                                                    
     Negative  Ion b.  Pathogen Control  - Ions  kill Virus,                                                                    
     Mold/Fungus and Bacteria in the  plenum, ductwork & the                                                                    
     work/living space.  c. Allergen  Control -  Ions allows                                                                    
     particles  to agglomerate  making particles  larger for                                                                    
     more effective  filtration. d. Odor  & Smoke  Control -                                                                    
     Odors & smoke are  converted into atmospheric gases. e.                                                                    
     VOC's -  are broken down  in the Cold Plasma  Field. f.                                                                    
     UL 867 certification for ozone production (<50ppb)                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROHWER conveyed that  hydrogen peroxide generators distribute                                                               
a low concentration  of hydrogen peroxide into the  air stream in                                                               
public places.  He stated that  they are highly effective and can                                                               
be  implemented in  any air  distribution system.   He  explained                                                               
that bipolar ionization and ozone  generators are not recommended                                                               
for  highly  populated areas  and  should  be used  in  pre/post-                                                               
occupancy situations,  such as  locker rooms,  where they  can be                                                               
turned on after  people leave to inactivate  virus, bacteria, and                                                               
other odors that are in the space.   He noted that there is not a                                                               
significant  amount  of  science-based  data  that  supports  the                                                               
effectiveness of  ozone or bipolar ionization;  therefore, ASHRAE                                                               
does  not  endorse the  use  of  the  technology.   He  suggested                                                               
working with  an engineer  to determine whether  it's a  good fit                                                               
for  a  specific   facility.    Slide  16   outlined  the  "best"                                                               
mitigation technologies [original punctuation provided]:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     3. BEST:                                                                                                                   
     a. Technologies for Microbiological Air Cleaning                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     i.  HEPA    High Efficiency  Particulate Filter  99.97%                                                                    
     HEPA  filters,   as  defined   by  the   United  States                                                                    
     Department of  Energy (DOE), remove at  least 99.97% of                                                                    
     airborne  particles 0.3  micrometers (µm)  in diameter.                                                                    
     https://www.standards.doe.gov/standards-                                                                                   
     documents/3000/3020-astd-2015                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     ii.   Photo  Catalytic   Oxidation  UV   light  creates                                                                    
     photons, photons "catalyze" by  the TiO2, radicals last                                                                    
     1/10  second  and   react  with  carbonbased  compounds                                                                    
     (viruses, bacteria, etc.)  Organic compounds reduced to                                                                    
     CO2 or H20                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROHWER reiterated  that HEPA filters are  the "gold standard"                                                               
in air filtration; nonetheless, they  are not always practical or                                                               
feasible  because  they  are costly  and  require  higher  energy                                                               
output.   He stated  that photo catalytic  oxidation is  the next                                                               
best option; however, it is costly and can be impractical.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:00:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEITH   WRITGHTSON,   Health   &  Safety   Specialist,   American                                                               
Federation of  State, County and  Municipal Employees,  urged the                                                               
legislature  and Alaskan  businesses to  incorporate a  series of                                                               
hazard  prevention controls  in indoor  workplaces to  reduce the                                                               
risk  of exposure  to  coronavirus.   In  doing  so,  he said  an                                                               
emphasis   should   be   placed   on   workplace   configuration,                                                               
ventilation,   enhanced   cleaning    practices,   and   personal                                                               
protective equipment  (PPE) to protect  the health and  safety of                                                               
workers  indoors.    He  informed  the  committee  that  the  CDC                                                               
recognizes  three  vehicles  of coronavirus  transmission:  small                                                               
droplets  from speaking  or coughing,  contact with  contaminated                                                               
surfaced, and  transmission from  aerosols.   Without ventilation                                                               
aerosols  remain suspended  in  the air  and become  increasingly                                                               
dense  the  longer an  infected  person  remains in  an  enclosed                                                               
space.   He added that the  risk of contagion is  highest indoors                                                               
but can be  reduced by applying all available  measures to combat                                                               
infection  from  aerosolized  respiratory   droplets.    He  said                                                               
initially, it was believed that  the main vehicle of transmission                                                               
was large droplets expelled from  coughing and sneezing; however,                                                               
now, it  is widely understood  that shouting and  singing indoors                                                               
in  poorly  ventilated  spaces   over  a  prolonged  period  also                                                               
increases  the risk  of exposure,  as  speaking in  a loud  voice                                                               
releases 50  times more  virus particles than  not speaking.   He                                                               
indicated that scientists have found  that those particles, which                                                               
are released  into the atmosphere  from breathing and  can escape                                                               
from improperly worn facemasks, can  infect people who spend more                                                               
than a few minutes within a  16-foot radius of an infected person                                                               
depending  on  the   length  of  time  and  the   nature  of  the                                                               
interaction.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. WRIGHTSON  directed attention  to a  PowerPoint presentation,                                                               
entitled  "COVID-19   Workplace  Safety."     Slide   2  examined                                                               
workplace   configuration   and   read   as   follows   [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Prior  to opening  the  workplace,  perform a  detailed                                                                    
     review of the configuration of your workspaces.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Eliminating   reception  seating   areas  and   require                                                                    
     clients,  visitors  and guests  to  phone  ahead for  a                                                                    
     specific time to enter the workplace.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Installing a  plastic partition  at the  reception area                                                                    
     and in  spaces where one-on-one meetings  are conducted                                                                    
     to  provide a  barrier  between the  public and  office                                                                    
     staff.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Reviewing  floorplans  and  removing  or  reconfiguring                                                                    
     seats, furniture  and workstations to  achieve physical                                                                    
     distancing  in  accordance with  guidelines  (generally                                                                    
     six feet).                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Reconfiguring  workstations so  that  employees do  not                                                                    
     face each  other or  installing partitions  (plastic or                                                                    
     other  material)   if  facing  each  other   cannot  be                                                                    
     avoided.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Streamlining building  and office space entry  and exit                                                                    
     points,  in accordance  with local  building codes,  to                                                                    
     limit and  monitor clients, visitors and  guests in the                                                                    
     building and  to ensure  that building  capacity levels                                                                    
     are not exceeded.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:08:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. WRIGHTSON continued to slide 3, "Meeting Rooms," which read                                                                 
as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ?  If   in-person  meetings  are   essential,  consider                                                                    
     limiting the  size of the  meetings in  accordance with                                                                    
     local, state and federal guidelines.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     ?  In-person   meetings  should  only  take   place  if                                                                    
     physical distancing can be achieved.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     ?  Meeting rooms  that are  used should  be disinfected                                                                    
     regularly  and after  each use.  Disinfectant wipes  or                                                                    
     spray  should  be left  in  each  conference room,  and                                                                    
     employees  should  be  encouraged   to  wipe  down  all                                                                    
     surfaces and  equipment (e.g., mouse,  keyboard, phone)                                                                    
     touched during conference room meetings.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     ? Lingering  and socializing before and  after meetings                                                                    
     should   be  discouraged,   and  employees   should  be                                                                    
     encouraged  to  use  virtual meeting  tools,  including                                                                    
     phone and virtual teleconference,  in lieu of in-person                                                                    
     meetings, whenever possible.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. WRIGHTSON turned attention to slide 4, "lobby and Common                                                                    
Areas," which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Common areas  (e.g., lobby, security  checkin, delivery                                                                    
     receiving areas)  should be cleaned and  disinfected at                                                                    
     least daily.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Occupancy  limits should  be established  for passenger                                                                    
     and  freight  elevators  (generally no  more  than  two                                                                    
     individuals  in the  elevator cab  at once)  to achieve                                                                    
     physical distancing.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Signage  should  be prominently  displayed  encouraging                                                                    
     staff and visitors to:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ?  Follow physical  distancing measures  (at least  six                                                                    
     feet).                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ?  Practice  good  personal and  environmental  hygiene                                                                    
     (e.g.,  handwashing,  respiratory  etiquette,  cleaning                                                                    
     frequently touched objects).                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     ? Respect occupancy limits.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     ? Not  linger or socialize  in common areas  and around                                                                    
     building entrances and exits or loading docks.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:12:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. WRIGHTSON directed attention to slide 5, "Breakrooms," which                                                                
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     ? Breakroom areas should be  cleaned and disinfected at                                                                    
     least  twice  daily.  A special  emphasis  on  cleaning                                                                    
     should  take place  after typical  break times  (coffee                                                                    
     and lunch hours).                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     ? Congregating in kitchen areas should be discouraged.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ?  Kitchen  equipment  and   utensils  should  also  be                                                                    
     cleaned on a routine  basis, including coffee machines,                                                                    
     refrigerator    handles,    dishwashers,    microwaves,                                                                    
     toasters, water  and beverage  faucets and  ice machine                                                                    
     handles.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     ? All silverware, dinnerware,  utensils and coffee pots                                                                    
     should be cleaned in the dishwasher.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     ? Ice machines that require  a handheld scoop should be                                                                    
     disconnected and taken out of service.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ? If  vending machines are available  for employee use,                                                                    
     disinfecting  should   be  required  after   each  use.                                                                    
     Eliminate public access to vending machines.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. WRIGHTSON continued to slide 6, "Restrooms," which read as                                                                  
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     ? Place a  trash can and disposable towels  by the door                                                                    
     if  the  door cannot  be  opened  without touching  the                                                                    
     handle.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     ? Place signs indicating  that toilet lids (if present)                                                                    
     should  be closed  before flushing.  SARS-COV-2 may  be                                                                    
     aerosolized when flushing the toilet.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     ? Place signs  asking employees and the  public to wash                                                                    
     hands before and after using the restroom.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     ? Clean  and disinfect  restrooms available  for public                                                                    
     use on an hourly basis.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     ? Vent  separately where  possible (e.g.,  turn exhaust                                                                    
     fan  on  if  vented   directly  outdoors  and  run  fan                                                                    
     continuously).                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     ? Keep  bathroom windows closed  if open  windows could                                                                    
     lead to  reentrainment of air  into other parts  of the                                                                    
     building  (i.e., if  the exhausted  air could  re-enter                                                                    
     the building through air intakes or other openings).                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     ?  Have an  ample  supply of  hand  soap and  sanitizer                                                                    
     available for use.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:17:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. WRIGHTSON,  skipping slide  7, turned  attention to  slide 8,                                                               
"Cleaning  Chemicals," and  expressed concern  about exposure  to                                                               
disinfectants,  such as  hydrogen peroxide,  sodium hypochlorite,                                                               
peroxyacetic acid,  isopropanol, and  sodium chlorite,  which are                                                               
commonly issued  in workplaces across  Alaska and the world.   He                                                               
noted that  the aforementioned  chemicals are  all listed  on the                                                               
Environmental Protection  Agency's (EPA's) List  N: Disinfectants                                                               
for use  against SARS-CoV-2.   Additionally, the  U.S. Department                                                               
of Transportation (USDOT) and the  Occupational Safety and Health                                                               
Administration  (OSHA)  consider  materials  that  contain  those                                                               
ingredients hazardous  materials and therefore,  individuals must                                                               
be  trained  in chemical  safety.    He encouraged  employers  to                                                               
comply with OSHA and USDOT's regulations.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:22:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.   WRIGHTSON  directed   attention  to   slide  9,   "personal                                                               
Protective   Equipment,"   which   read  as   follows   [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Workers  must  wear  (PPE) that  will  protect  workers                                                                    
     against  SARS-CoV-2 and  other hazards  associated with                                                                    
     chemicals  which they  may be  exposed during  cleaning                                                                    
     and decontamination of surfaces and objects.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Examples of PPE  that may be needed while  caring for a                                                                    
     COVID-19    patient    or     during    cleaning    and                                                                    
     decontamination include:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     • Nitrile gloves                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     • Goggles or face shields.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
   • Fluid-resistant or fluid-impermeable gowns, coveralls                                                                      
     and aprons.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
    • Dedicated work clothing and washable shoes with shoe                                                                      
     or boot covers.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:23:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS asked  to what extent KN95 masks  reduce risk and                                                               
provide protection for employees; further,  he asked if there are                                                               
other commercially available products similar to KN95 masks.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:24:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WRIGHTSON pointed  out that  OSHA uses  the term  "filtering                                                               
facepiece."    He  explained   that  respirators  have  different                                                               
ratings  that  speak  to  their efficiency  and  design;  N,  for                                                               
example,  indicates that  N95 respirators  are  not oilproof  and                                                               
filter 95 percent  of contaminants in the  air; P100 respirators,                                                               
are designed  to seal to  the face and prevent  contaminants from                                                               
entering; and KN95  respirators have straps that  loop behind the                                                               
ears.  He opined that  KN95 masks are acceptable in nonhealthcare                                                               
environments.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS sought to clarify  whether there are commercially                                                               
available  alternatives  to  KN95  masks that  provide  a  higher                                                               
degree of  protection compared to a  cloth or surgical mask.   He                                                               
surmised that  KN95 masks are  the only available  option because                                                               
N95 masks continue to be hard to obtain in Alaska.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. WRIGHTSON affirmed that.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:27:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. WRIGHTSON  returned to  slide 9 and  reviewed the  proper PPE                                                               
for  caring  for  a  COVID-19  patient  or  during  cleaning  and                                                               
contamination.  He continued to  slide 10, "Communication," which                                                               
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     ?   Workers  and   employers  should   collaborate  and                                                                    
     designate   an   effective   means   of   communicating                                                                    
     information  on  new  workplace  policies  and  changes                                                                    
     prior to reopening and upon resuming operations.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     ? A  communication policy  that establishes  formal and                                                                    
     informal routes  of communication for staff  to express                                                                    
     concerns,  questions,   comments  and  feedback   is  a                                                                    
     necessity.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. WRIGHTSON said he has  observed retaliation [against workers]                                                               
and  strongly  encouraged   employers  to  develop  communication                                                               
policies  that provide  an  "open door"  for  workers to  express                                                               
their  concerns  without retaliation.    He  turned attention  to                                                               
slide   11,  "Training,"   which   read   as  follows   [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Education    and    training   opportunities    provide                                                                    
     employers, managers, supervisors and workers with:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     ? Knowledge and  skills needed to do  their work safely                                                                    
     and  avoid  exposure  to SARS-Cov-2  that  could  place                                                                    
     themselves or others at risk.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     ?   Awareness  and   understanding   of  policies   and                                                                    
     procedures  and how  to  identify,  report and  control                                                                    
     exposure to SARS-Cov-2.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     ? Specialized training when  their work involves unique                                                                    
     hazards.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WRIGHTSON  informed the  committee that  once an  employee is                                                               
issued  a disinfectant,  he or  she must  be trained  pursuant to                                                               
OSHA's Hazard Communication rule;  furthermore, upon being issued                                                               
an  N95  respirator, employees  must  be  trained on  respiratory                                                               
protection standards, which  applies to all PPE  that an employer                                                               
requires.   He emphasized that  PPE is  the last line  of defense                                                               
and can be accompanied by many complications.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:32:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. WRIGHTSON  continued to slide  12, "Flexible  Work Policies,"                                                               
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Employers  should  adopt  flexible work  policies  that                                                                    
     minimize exposure to and  transmission of the SARS-Cov-                                                                    
     2  virus  by  reducing  the  number  of  workers  in  a                                                                    
     workspace at the same time.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Flexible work  policies also consist of  staggered work                                                                    
     schedules that  have workers in an  office at different                                                                    
     times during a day.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     This includes  continuing the  use of  telework, either                                                                    
     full time  or at  regular intervals (e.g.,  every other                                                                    
     day).                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Consideration  also  should  be  given  to  changes  in                                                                    
     transportation  options available  to  workers and  CDC                                                                    
     guidance    encouraging   the    use   of    forms   of                                                                    
     transportation   that  minimize   close  contact   with                                                                    
     others.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:34:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  read  the   following  questions  submitted  by                                                               
Representative Story:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Have  you  been asked  by  the  state to  assess  state                                                                    
     buildings,   schools,  [and]   public  safety   places,                                                                    
     including prisons?                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     What  sort of  private businesses  have asked  for this                                                                    
     kind of analysis regarding COVID-19 safety?                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Are you  aware of best  practices from peers  and other                                                                    
     states?                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NUNN  said  she  has   been  working  with  state  agencies,                                                               
including  DOT  and  the  Alaska Court  System.    She  recounted                                                               
working  with the  court  system  at the  outset  of COVID-19  to                                                               
understand  occupancy loads  for  courtrooms,  lobbies, and  jury                                                               
call spaces to establish a  baseline and apply local mandates for                                                               
occupancy limitations.  Additionally,  she recalled her work with                                                               
DOT  pertaining to  pioneer  homes  and correctional  facilities.                                                               
She   noted  that   her  firm   is   advises  school   districts,                                                               
particularly   in  Western   Alaska,   on   best  practices   for                                                               
implementing sanitization and disinfection protocols.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS asked  how to make this  information available to                                                               
the public.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NUNN   recommended  looking  into  the   health  and  safety                                                               
guidelines created by  the IWBI task force.  She  added that ASID                                                               
had a  parallel task force  that recently completed  a literature                                                               
review and created 68 approved resources, which is currently                                                                    
being collated into a usable resource for the general public.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:42:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  pointed out that  OSHA did not  issue guidelines                                                               
for COVID-19 safety.   He thanked the testifiers  for making this                                                               
information available  so that  Alaskan entrepreneurs  and public                                                               
building managers can make informed decisions.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:43:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
State Affairs Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:43                                                                  
p.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Interior Designers Hearing Introduction Sheet 12.2.20.pdf HSTA 12/2/2020 2:00:00 PM
Safe Return to the Workplace and Public Buildings12.2.20.pdf HSTA 12/2/2020 2:00:00 PM
AFSCME Letter to the Committee 12.2.20.pdf HSTA 12/2/2020 2:00:00 PM
COVID-19 Workplace Safety 12.2.20.pdf HSTA 12/2/2020 2:00:00 PM