A calculator that helps measure the risk of virus spread in classrooms allows you to apply the most effective measures to prevent the virus in schools.
Over the past year, one of the big questions about the pandemic was the level of spread of the virus in schools. For this reason, most countries initially decided to close educational establishments to contain the advancement of coronavirus.
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However, more than a year after the emergence of COVID-19, different protocols were devised so that students can return to their classroom.
In this regard, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now has concluded that the level of contagion in schools is low if the health precautions recommended by the authorities are taken.
According to UNICEF data, the suspension of face-to-face classes has contributed to widening the existing gap, where students from the most vulnerable sectors have been most affected. The students carried out work sessions through virtual platforms faced several issues like the lack of connectivity and technological devices were one of the most complex difficulties to solve. That undoubtedly brought demotivation and often disinterest.
But what is the risk of contagion in the classroom? To calculate the risk of circulation in classrooms, the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, in collaboration with the International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health (ILAQH, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia) and the CIUS Building Performance Laboratory (New York, USA), developed a tool called the “Airborne Infection Risk Calculator” to estimate the risk of airborne virus transmission indoors.
According to UNICAS website, this tool published in peer-reviewed scientific journals (Environment International, Volume 141, August 2020, 105794; Environment International, under review ) and is based on a recently developed emission, exposure, dose and risk estimation model.
If established, it’s sure going to help to assess epidemiological reality in each case by applying indicators for school establishments that determine the level of risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus presented by the school (high, medium or low), which will not mean that the school cannot reopen to resume face-to-face classes, but should consider alternative teaching models (e.g. a combination of face-to-face and virtual classes, also known as a hybrid education model, or virtual classes only).