27 May 2020
This week’s heatwave underlines the importance of fans and air conditioners in classrooms. Without this equipment, the heat quickly becomes unbearable.
Use of these devices in classrooms has not been a problem for a few years now. However, with the current situation, there are concerns that infectious particles could be spread in the air. So, advisories have now been clarified.
The Institut national de la Santé publique (INSPQ) clarified, in a question-and-answer format, that “In our review of the scientific literature, we have found no study establishing links between pedestal fans and the dispersion of SARS-CoV-2 in indoor air.”
They conclude that “Pedestal fans should therefore be used with caution… (and) … can provide a continuous supply of fresh air from the outside.”
A letter from Deputy Minister of Education Éric Blackburn said that “the level of risk associated with the use of fans and portable air conditioners appears to be low in schools according to Public Health, especially in times of extreme heat.”
Schools are also encouraged to consider the following recommendations:
- Plan outdoor activities before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m.
- Encourage children to drink often and ask them to bring a water bottle
- Keep windows and doors open until 10 a.m. to ensure good ventilation
- Close the curtains when the sun is shining
- Ventilate the premises if possible when the night is cool
- Ensure a supply of fresh air circulation for between 15 and 20 minutes at least three times a day
- Avoid directing air flow towards the faces of children and staff
The government is providing posters to remind people of hot weather instructions