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Industry News

Published on October 14th, 2020 | by The GC Team

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Call for retailers to keep doors and windows open to minimise Covid transfer risk

Shops and retail outlets across the UK are being asked to keep doors and windows open to allow air to move through their buildings to reduce airborne transmission of Covid-19.

It is reported that 91% of all Covid-19 patients are infected indoors, so the latest advice is to keep air flowing through buildings where people congregate to mitigate transfer risks.

According to the UK Government, steps that will usually be needed are:

  1. Increasing the existing ventilation rate by adjusting the fan speed.
  2. Operating the ventilation system when there are people in the building.
  3. Monitoring and managing filters in accordance to manufacturer instructions.
  4. Keeping doors and windows open if possible.
  5. Using ceiling fans to improve air circulation, provided there is good ventilation.

“Those of us in the air conditioning business have been banging this home for years,” said Libby Jones from Air Conditioning installer AirCon.co.uk.

“Fresh circulated air is healthier air – you don’t need a fancy system to do this, just keep a steady flow of fresh air by opening doors and windows.

“There are some simple things we can do to reduce risk of transmission within any building, and it all comes down to common sense. The usual washing hands, wearing a mask and keeping distance – but where air is not being exchanged in congested areas it raises the risks of an infected person’s cough being recirculated around a room.

“It is all about being aware that stale air can carry airborne particles of Covid-19. Changing habits can reduce the risk massively.”

Open Windows & Doors for 20 minutes per hour

Regular “shock ventilation” is recommended to change out air in rooms. This means opening windows and doors on a regular basis to allow stale air to be changed for fresh air.

“In a shop this can be tricky,” says Jones, “but the concept is clear – the more air you extract and replace with fresh, the healthier the air. This is a habit we all need to be better at, because even in post-Covid years ahead (yes, they do exist) we can all help by sticking to a clean air regime.

“The Germans are going big time into education about ventilation – they call it Stosslüften meaning “shock ventilation” and its effects on transmission rates of the virus indoors are incredibly positive. If you think about it this Winter, that’s the danger zone, we will be spending more time inside, and we need to wise up to simple ventilation habits.

“If everyone can reduce their ability to transmit the virus just a little bit, we can all help bring down the chances of passing it around.”

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