Recommends Airing The Classrooms Despite The Cold Against Covid

A guide produced by the CSIC details how to renew the air in the classrooms by opening doors and windows, “having comfortable warm clothes”, or using systems that some autonomies advise against

The risk of contagion indoors is one of the main headaches of the covid pandemic especially now that temperatures are falling in Spain and the rest of the hemisphere

And the dilemma arises ventilate or be cold In cold periods if you opt for natural ventilation you will have to choose between reducing health risks or thermal comfort exposes a guide prepared for schools by the Higher Council for Scientific Research CSIC promoted by the Ministry of Science And he adds Having comfortable warm clothing indoors will not overuse the heating with partially open windows

That is it is advisable to ventilate at all costs even if it causes thermal discomfort

The guide PDF format which is based largely on the one prepared by Harvard University also offers mechanical alternatives to ventilate and purify the air in case of not having the possibility of manual ventilation

Ventilation is the renewal of air that is the replacement of potentially contaminated indoor air with virusfree outdoor air And the purification of the air consists of the elimination of the particles in suspension susceptible to contain virus assures in a note of the ministry the researcher María Cruz Minguillón of the IDAEACSIC with the help of the Conselleria dEducació of the Generalitat Valenciana

Natural ventilation although it is the first option in this guide may not be feasible due to adverse weather conditions

GUIDE FOR CSIC CLASSROOMS
The covid protocol for the schools of the Ministry of Education agreed with Health and the autonomies recommended only to ventilate for at least 10 or 15 minutes at the beginning and end of the day and as long as possible but without clear instructions These new recommendations which have been sent to the Ministry of Education to be disseminated among schools are based on the fact that the risk of contagion of covid is much higher indoors largely due to aerosols

These microscopic particles with virus which a patient expels when breathing speaking singing or coughing can remain suspended in closed spaces and cause the contagion of whoever breathes them

For this reason as the guide points out outdoor activities are always preferable The risk can be reduced by reducing the number of people reducing the volume of speech or remaining silent adjusting the mask well reducing the exposure time maintaining distance and ventilating which is what this CSIC manual focuses on

But its indications are perfectly applicable to other types of interior spaces such as offices

Natural ventilation although it is the first option in this guide may not be feasible due to adverse weather conditions acknowledge the authors of the document as well as noise or pollution problems from the outside

In that case they add you can start implementing forced ventilation and or air purification before these conditions are reached And they warn It is preferable to reduce noise in corridors than to close doors because cross ventilation of windows and doors is necessary everything open as long as possible

The ventilation necessary to reduce the risk of contagion depends on the volume of the room the number and age of the occupants the activity carried out the incidence of cases in the region and the risk to be assumed the guide clarifies Before entering into technical issues that educational centers should analyze

This is where the devices that help to achieve sufficient ventilation come in such as individual extractors or impellers with an adequate air flow If centralized ventilation systems are available the outdoor air rate should be increased and recirculation should be reduced as it can cause the suspended viruses to reconcentrate

When all of the above is not possible or is not sufficient the air must be purified with equipment equipped with HEPA filters recommends the guide Some autonomous communities such as Galicia advise against these purification equipment which can be very expensive

In addition the manual suggests the use of CO2 meters in the environment as a clue to know if the air is being renewed sufficiently in a classroom In any case ventilation is not a solution on its own but must be added to the rest to reduce the risk which will never be zero The use of masks maintaining distance and hygiene measures are still necessary in all solutions warn the scientists

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