CDC: Ventilation an important Covid-19 prevention strategy for schools

KUALA LUMPUR (March 1): The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that ventilation is one component of maintaining healthy environments, and is an important Covid-19 prevention strategy for schools and child care programmes.

“Wearing a well-fitting, multi-layer mask helps prevent virus particles from entering the air or being breathed in by the person wearing a mask. 

“Good ventilation is another step that can reduce the number of virus particles in the air. Along with other preventive actions, ventilation can reduce the likelihood of spreading disease,” the CDC noted in a Feb 26 report. “Bring in as much outdoor air as possible,” the CDC stressed. 

It also added that schools should ensure heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) settings are maximising ventilation.

“Set HVAC systems to bring in as much outdoor air as your system will safely allow. Reduce or eliminate HVAC air recirculation when practical and with expert HVAC consultation,” it recommended.

“For simple HVAC systems controlled by a thermostat, setting the fan control switch from 'auto' to 'on' will ensure the HVAC system provides continuous air filtration and distribution,” it added. 

If safe to do so, open windows and doors, the CDC said.  

“Even just cracking open a window or door helps increase outdoor air flow, which helps reduce the potential concentration of virus particles in the air. Do not open windows or doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk (such as falling, exposure to extreme temperatures or triggering asthma symptoms),” it noted. 

“Continue to follow other preventive actions to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Keep children separated by 6ft (1.83m) as much as possible. Help children two years and older wear masks whenever possible. Children under age two should not wear masks,” it added. 

In Malaysia, schools nationwide welcomed back students today. Year One and Year Two resumed face-to-face classes today, while Year Three to Year Six will return on March 8. 

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