Air conditioning can be used to cool down spaces during the heatwave without increased risk of getting a coronavirus infection if you do not aim them at people’s faces, health officials clarified during a press conference on Wednesday.
Air conditioning and fans can be used to cool rooms when temperatures are high, according to virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht, but they should not be aimed at people’s faces, and strong airflows between different people should be prevented.
“This is particularly important in places where people who are sensitive to the heat live, such as residents of residential care centres,” he said.
The air conditioning system, however, should be maintained properly and set so that at least part of the air is fresh. “If that is the case, there is little additional risk of the spread of the coronavirus,” Van Gucht said.
Fans can be used as well, but it is best to only use them in your own household or bubble. “Or in an institution with people who mostly stay in their rooms,” he said. They can be set to a slightly lower position, or facing a wall or corner, to avoid this.
Additionally, people in residential care centres are “certainly” allowed to gather in the coolest rooms. “Especially when no cases of Covid-19 have been detected in those centres in recent weeks,” Van Gucht clarified.