Designing Infectious Diseases Resilience Into School Buildings - The Lancet

Document Overview:

Many countries have prioritized schools in their COVID-19 pandemic recovery plans, including funding to support costs associated with reopening safely. These resources represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity for health-based improvements to school buildings, such as improving indoor air quality (IAQ), reducing the risk of airborne infectious disease transmission, and benefit health academic performance. Unfortunately, there are reports of schools spending millions of dollars on unproven or largely ineffective air cleaning technologies like ionizers and other measures such as surface disinfection supplies.

1-5 School infrastructure has been chronically under-funded, and schools may never see another influx of monies like this. Therefore, pandemic relief for schools must be applied to evidence-based enhancements, provide long-term value, and do not create additional pollutants that may be harmful to the health of students, teachers, and staff. In this report, we provide a brief overview of the science on ventilation and air cleaning in schools, and then provide a guide on how to direct resources toward building-level public health interventions in school buildings that are best supported by scientific evidence to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and promote long-term health and academic performance.

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