SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging school districts to bring schools back to the classroom, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is advising schools to either use an HVAC system or open the windows during the pandemic.

The state said many schools have different ventilation and HVAC systems inside.

Western Mass News spoke with Dr. Robert Roose, who said circulating the air is important when it comes to COVID-19.

Schools continue to iron out the details for how kids can return back to their classrooms in the fall.

Last week the CDC encouraged school districts to bring students back to the classroom.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recently released new guidance, and on page 12 of the 34-page document, the state advises for there to be an increase in air ventilation.

“There is a benefit potentially enduring that the air circulation in the building is sufficient enough that it would reduce the likelihood that any droplets that could be infected with the coronavirus sort of maintaining themselves in the air longer than they should,” said Roose, Mercy Medical Center’s chief medical officer.

He said that either using an HVAC system or opening windows to circulate airflow is important.

“What we do know is that increasing the amount of air exchanges brought in from outside is then taking the interior air out and or passing the air through filters can help reduce the likelihood that the virus, like the coronavirus, could remain and other people could bring it in,” he said.

He said it could help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

“The way in which the coronavirus generally is transmitted, that’s respiratory droplets, they tend to fall onto the ground because of gravity usually within six feet or so or even a little bit longer so they are not typically maintaining themselves in the air for things like hours, your taking typically minutes,” he said.

Roose said there is much less transmission of the virus when people are outside instead of inside and the circulating of the air has a lot to do with that.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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