Support Document for the Advisory Committee on COVID-19 Transmission in School and Healthcare Environments and on the Role of Ventilation
This support document was written at the request of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) to support the work of the members of the group of scientific and technical experts focusing on the use of ventilation in healthcare and educational institutions during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this document is, more specifically, to take stock of the current knowledge on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in building interiors and to develop a portrait of the role that ventilation in indoor environments may play in a pandemic context. As the situation and knowledge surrounding SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) are rapidly developing, the information provided in this document is subject to updates.
This document is not an exhaustive review of the scientific literature. The technical terms used herein are those generally used by the cited authors, and the terminology used is adapted to the conventions for use defined by the Ventilation Working Group of the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ). It is important to note that some scientific publications on COVID-19 cited in this document were published without peer review. Complete information on the methodology used to create this document is presented in Appendix 1.
This document includes a summary of current knowledge on SARS-CoV-2 transmission, the environmental parameters that contribute to maintaining the viability of the virus indoors (temperature and relative humidity), and survival time on various surface types. The document also discusses the link between transmission of the virus and indoor air ventilation and filtration systems. The data in the scientific literature make it possible to establish key takeaways to inform occupants, users, and managers of public and private buildings of the practices to adopt in indoor spaces to minimize the risk of transmitting COVID-19. Finally, the section on SARS-CoV-2 transmission summarizes the main points of the INSPQ document entitled SARS-CoV-2 transmission: Findings and Proposed Terminology.