Medical Chief of Staff at the Joseph Nathaniel France General Hospital, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson said that it is necessary when being in air-conditioned rooms to wear masks and allow periodic ventilation to mitigate against COVID-19 transmission.
“I am not saying that one should not use an air-conditioned unit, but people should be wearing their masks, they should be trying to stay as spaced apart as possible and make every effort to bring fresh air in from time to time,” said Dr. Wilkinson at the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) COVID-19 briefing on January 26.
“The risk of COVID-19 spread is greater if you are in an enclosed setting that is poorly ventilated,” he said.
“If you are in an open space the risk is less and the reason why it is greater in an enclosed setting that is poorly ventilated is that if you are speaking especially without a mask you can have the aerosols that are released and they can stay suspended for quite some time,” said Dr. Wilkinson. “Most air-conditioned units are designed to cool the air and not necessarily recycle the air and bring in (the) fresh air and so most of the wall units that they have tend(ed) to cool the air,”
“If you are going to be in an enclosed setting for a long time with a wall unit, it is good to open the door every hour or two when you open the door to let fresh air in,” he said.