Freeze or wear a coat in Spanish schools

SPAIN’S schools are in a quandary as colder weather sets in.

Anti-Covid procedures require classrooms to be well-aired to prevent the spread of the coronavirus but as temperatures fall, Spanish pupils are beginning to shiver and ask for the ever-open windows to be closed.

This is unlikely, as scientists recently pronounced the Covid-19 risk to be 20 times greater indoors than out.

Even the Costas with their benign winters have cold spells, not to mention  mountain areas where temperatures drop below freezing and snow is not unknown.

Official guidelines recommend airing classrooms for between 10 and 15 minutes when the school day starts and ends, between classes and at breaktime.  Andalucia and Murcia, for instance, tell schools to keep doors and windows open during classes.

Maria Cruz Minguillon, a researcher at Spain’s National Research Council (CSIC) and an expert in airborne aerosols, is in favour of leaving windows open:  “Children should wear a coat and scarf if necessary,” she told El Pais.

The only alternatives to open windows are carbon dioxide sensors and air purifiers with HEPA filters that filter out ultrafine particles, Minguillon declared.

Carbon dioxide sensors, which cost around €35, detect carbon dioxide in the air to determine when fresh air is needed to reduce the risk of infection.

An air purifier with a HEPA filter adequate for a 40-square metre room costs approximately €600.

Elsewhere, the US’s Centres for Disease Control are considering air purifiers, Germany favours natural ventilation with windows open for five minutes every quarter-of-an-hour, although Bavaria will be using purifiers and sensors.  At present, the UK government has not changed existing guidelines despite falling temperatures.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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