To think about ventilation against Covid-19, carbon dioxide sensors are being installed in school canteens

“It’s oranges!” In a school canteen in Amiens, children are familiar with the indicators of carbon dioxide, which is a municipal investment aimed at encouraging more ventilation, and is the best solution to avoid contamination of the Corona virus with aerosols. Reportage.

The pupils of Elbeuf Amiens Elementary School who are sitting six and in class, listen attentively to the facilitator who has come to explain the process and interest of this digital painting hanging above the main wall.

40 cm wide and 30 cm wide, this black rectangle displays three gradient levels – green, orange, and red – with emojis. “When it is orange, you have to open a window, and when it is red, you have to open half of the windows. (Broadcast) is used to remove dust so that the microbes disappear and we can eat peacefully.” Yasmine revisits, in CE2, under the amusing gaze of her classmates.

“I never imagined that CO2 was going up so fast.”

After less than ten minutes of meals, and even though one of the doors leading outside was open, the carbon dioxide level in this hall that gathers about 25 children in elementary school is rising. An orange stripe appears, catching kids’ attention. The adult comes to open one of the half-windows. “It helps. I never imagined that (CO2) was going up so fast,” Jacqueline Knight, in charge of the canteen, who saw the rapid positive effect of the flow on the sensor, admits.

“Before we broadcast mainly between the two services, fifteen minutes. Now, we know when to ventilate carefully, and we ventilate directly.” Greetings, Nora Mukor, animator who also says “Be more confident” Thanks to this device. Amiens Town Hall bought 53 for all its basic restaurants, or 10,000 euros tax-inclusive, that have been gradually installed since the start of the Easter holidays.

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Look for a budget

“We thought about classrooms at first, but with 81 schools or 400 classrooms, that wasn’t possible from a budget point of view, so we finally chose canteens, where pollution risks are also important.” Health assistant Bruno Binemi explains. Not all canteens have windows that open, but have at least two emergency doors outside, the city says. Helen Buschies, Teaching Assistant, “Help in educating children”, at “Hopes” They ask for ventilation in the classroom by returning to the house, “They say to their parents.”

The idea dates back to December 2020. Maxime Guinion, CHU’s chief of prevention and epidemiology and a professor of public health at Amiens University, proposes this solution to the local science council, made up of local doctors and elected officials. “This coronavirus, we now know that it is spreading by aerosol. We expel the aerosol as soon as we breathe and talk more even if we scream and sing, Professor Jignon explains. They stay hanging in the room. If (…) someone spends five minutes behind me, they’ll be in this cloud of tiny particles and possibly contaminated. “


Al-Air: “A message we still need to insist on”

So it is the sensor Indirect indicator. “If people exhale carbon dioxide, it is also possible that they exhale the virus (…) the air becomes saturated with carbon dioxide and it is important to ventilate to reduce the potential density of the virus present.” He continues, noting that there are studies on this main pattern of Covid-19 transmission Since the summer of 2020.

These materials requested by teachers’ unions are the responsibility of local communities. In the administration of the University of Amiens, we explain “Support in their thinking”, without ” Request “ To invest and not to help them financially.

“(The broadcast) is something we have transmitted a little bit, the first institutional messages dating back to Christmas 2020, it’s a message that we still need to insist on,” Dr. Jignon says. However, with one major unknown: if the pandemic continues, will the broadcast habit fight the return of winter?


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