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Fan a 'major contributing factor' in Covid outbreak in Limerick

Fan a  'major contributing factor' in Covid outbreak in Limerick

WHILE trying to keep cool you could be fanning the flames of Covid-19.

The Department of Public Health Mid-West advises the public to "take extra care with the correct use of pedestal fans in order to efficiently ventilate rooms and work spaces". There have queues for fans outside some Limerick retailers this week.

"For example, in one workplace outbreak, while staff working in a kitchen were distanced, they were not wearing masks in a poorly-ventilated space with a pedestal fan.

"The poor ventilation and the use of a pedestal fan were major contributing factors in this situation, and all kitchen staff were infected," said a spokesperson.

In line with WHO ventilation guidance, the Government’s Work Safely Protocol, and the Department of Public Health Mid-West’s Safe Work Stops Covid guidebook, fans should not be used in poorly ventilated spaces as they could circulate virus droplets and aerosols, they say.

"Using pedestal fans close to an open window can bring more clean air into a room, but they should only be used if the ventilation rate is right for the room and occupancy. Otherwise, it may spread particles," they added.

Dr Marie Casey, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, said they appreciate that there is an additional demand for fans, particularly in workplaces amid the surge in high temperatures.

"If you are using a fan, pleasure ensure that it can be used to bring more clean air into the room, instead of circulating poor quality or contaminated air in a room with a high occupancy of people and workers.

"We are also encouraging people to be #SunSmart this summer; regularly apply high factor sunscreen; wear light loose-fitting clothing; wear a hat and sunglasses; seek shade wear possible; stay hydrated; and continue to follow Public Health advice," said Dr Casey.

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