ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL
The study was conducted in July 2020 on Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas
By Alex Smith March 01, 2021
Royal Caribbean Group, in collaboration with the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI), has released the results of a study on the transmission of aerosol particles through a cruise ship’s HVAC system Researchers found that it was undetectable on surfaces and in the air in areas around the ship.
A team of five medical scientists specialising in bioaerosols were involved in the study, led by Josh Santarpia, associate professor of pathology and microbiology at UNMC and research director of chemical and biological programs at NSRI. Their research explored the effectiveness and efficiency of ship air management strategies, as well as examining the air flow through different areas of the vessel.
The researchers found the transmission of aerosol particles between spaces through the ventilation system was undetectable on surfaces and in the air. However, the cruise company is adopting new practices to further minimise the spread of particles based on the study’s findings. Onboard settings will be adjusted to allow for the maximum air changes per hour and upgrading to Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value 13 filters throughout the system. In addition, Royal Caribbean Group has also equipped its medical facilities with an independent ventilation system and high-efficiency particulate air filters.
The cruise company engaged with UNMC and the NSRI with the support of the Healthy Sail Panel, a group of experts assembled by Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings to help guide the cruise industry’s response to Covid-19. The study, which was conducted in July 2020 on Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas, helped to inform the Healthy Sail Panel’s 74 best practices in its 65-page report submitted in September.