Classroom ventilation guidelines urgently needed

19 March 2021

Schools urgently need guidelines on ventilation to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission in the classroom.

In February’s Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, doctors at Imperial College London and a headteacher wrote that improving air quality in classrooms should be as important as following advice on social distancing, face masks and hand washing.

They said it would be beneficial and cost-effective to have windows and doors open for natural ventilation, but note the impracticalities in colder months.

In addition, the authors highlight airline practices. Lead author Dr Kaveh Asanati explained that these include circulating a mix of fresh air and recycled air through high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.

While the authors admit that few school buildings have HEPA filtration, they say the use of portable HEPA units could be an option.

Until then, keeping doors and windows open as much as possible seems the best way forward.

Image credit | Alamy