Santé Publique France says the possibility of an increasing spread of coronavirus during the heatwave is a risk not to be neglected. In a memo released on Thursday July 23, 2020, the Agency is worried as for the arrival of a heatwave and offers national guidelines relying on the Haut Conseil de la Santé Publique (HCSP). They are completed by productions from European and international institutions. The agency sounds the alarm as for the rise of temperatures and humidity in the summer “will not enable to control the spread of Covid-19 without any other controlling measures”. It also provides guidelines to stick to during heatwaves. The first of them all is to keep on wearing a facemask wherever you are. It has also become mandatory in closed public places for people over 11 years old.
Even though it is very tempting to use fans or air-conditioning units to cool off, misusing them could increase the risk of spreading respiratory droplets. According to the agency, fans are to be avoided if you do not wear a mask as they circulate thee air and spread the virus, making safety distance between people “ineffective”. Santé Publique France recommends drying the air and surfaces of the room with natural air for 15 minutes, at least three times a day. As for air-conditioning units, they significantly lower the viral load of the room only if they are fitted with “effective and properly maintained filters”.
The Santé Publique France also warns about the increased risk of severe diseases in elderly people, living in an insecure accommodation. For these people, guidelines are to be planned. Good hydration and possibility to go to fresh places not too crowded are to be planned such as swimming pools, shopping malls. The agency recommends providing temporary fresh accommodations to “limit the impact of the heat”.