Airborne transmission of COVID-19 is a real possibility, and it can occur over distances greater than six feet. Particles from an infected person can move around an entire room or interior space, and in some cases, they can remain in the air for hours. A new study published in the MedRxiv depot suggests that the novel coronavirus COVID-19 could remain in the air for up to 3 hours after aerosolization. Outdoors, fresh air circulation disperses drifting droplets quickly, so wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distance (6 feet or more) is very effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in outdoor spaces where air circulates.
Another study conducted in Wuhan hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak analyzed air and stool samples inside the ICU and an air sample in a patient's bathroom tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.Under experimental conditions, researchers found that the COVID-19 virus remained viable in air for three hours. Viruses that are captured by a normal membrane or mechanical filter, without electrostatic process, can remain alive in the filter and therefore carry the risk of spreading infections from the device itself. When people with COVID-19 infection breathe out, clear their throats, cough, sneeze, talk, or draw air through their nose or mouth, droplets of all different sizes that may contain the virus are expelled into the air. The scientific evidence is clear: COVID-19 can be spread by airborne transmission. It is important to take all necessary precautions to protect yourself and others from infection.
Wear a face covering when you are around other people, maintain physical distance (6 feet or more), and practice good hand hygiene.