The VO council, the umbrella organization of secondary schools, wants the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) to provide advice on ventilation before the schools reopen on August 17. Ventilation systems may play a role in the spread of the coronavirus.
The council refers to an article in the AD Thursday morning, in which experts argue that schools urgently need to improve ventilation. The experts, like some other scientists, believe that aerosols play an important role in the spread of the coronavirus.
Although the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) does not rule out the possibility that these small droplets can infect people at a distance of more than 1.5 meters, the institute also says that evidence to date is lacking.
Nevertheless, the VO council is concerned about the role of aerosols. “There is debate among scientists about the importance of ventilation to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Schools have an interest in clarity and that is why we want advice from the OMT on this. At the start of the new school year, it should be known when this advice is available. “says chairman Paul Rosenmöller.
RIVM informs NU.nl in a response that the members of the OMT will meet again at the end of August. Then the question about the aerosols will undoubtedly be discussed. For the time being, RIVM sees no reason to revise the existing ventilation advice. However, if scientific evidence presents itself, that advice can always be adjusted.
RIVM recommends proper ventilation as a precaution
As a precautionary measure, the RIVM recommends that recirculation should be avoided as much as possible within one room in which several people are together for a longer period of time. It is also recommended to refresh the air in the room sufficiently, for example by opening a window, because recirculation only uses the air that is already present in the room.
But that is mainly due to the fact that fresh air is anyway healthier to breathe than always the same air, according to a RIVM spokesperson.
The number of new infections with the coronavirus is increasing again, especially among young people. Secondary schools will reopen from 17 August. Pupils may then sit next to each other in the classroom or auditorium and do not have to keep a distance of 1.5 meters.