Does covid-19 live in the air?

Airborne transmission of COVID-19 can occur over distances greater than six feet. Particles from an infected person can move around an entire room or interior space. Particles can also remain in the air after a person has left the room; in some cases, they can stay in the air for hours. Yes, COVID-19 can be spread by airborne transmission.

The scientific reports on COVID-19 provide a summary of the scientific evidence used to inform specific CDC guidelines and recommendations. Scientific reports reflect scientific evidence, and CDC's understanding of it, on a specific topic at the time of publication of the Report. While CDC seeks to update scientific reports when and as appropriate, given ongoing changes in scientific evidence, an individual scientific report may not reflect CDC's current understanding of that topic. All Science Briefs are listed on this Science Briefs website as historical reference materials.

A new study, published in the MedRxiv depot, now 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 the combination of 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. Many scientists and public health doctors did not believe that COVID-19 was airborne and were very clear about it, and rejected calls for improved ventilation, air filtration and CO2 monitoring. Another study, conducted in Wuhan hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak, analyzed air and, as a result, especially 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.

Robert Smisek
Robert Smisek

Total twitter nerd. Typical food trailblazer. Avid food practitioner. Unapologetic web junkie. Freelance twitter evangelist. Passionate food advocate.

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