By now, the CDC has confirmed that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is spread through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected individual speaks, coughs, sneezes, or breathes. Once these respiratory droplets are released, surrounding individuals may become infected by: 1) inhaling them or 2) touching surfaces that the droplets have landed on and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. In addition, the CDC has also indicated that it is possible that the coronavirus can be spread through airborne particles that remain suspended in the air after an infected individual coughs, sneezes, talks, or breathes.
How Does This Information Apply to Indoor Spaces?
Essentially, because airborne particles—specifically aerosols, which are less than 100 micrometers in diameter—released by COVID-19 infected individuals remain suspended in the air for hours, the risk of contagion in indoor environments is often very high. This risk is even greater if safety procedures are not in place. However, by implementing strict safety measures, that risk can be greatly reduced.
Factors that Affect the Risk of Transmission Indoors
To determine the risk factor associated with a particular indoor space—such as a bar, school, restaurant, or a small gathering of friends at a house—there are several contributing factors you must consider.
- Whether or not masks are worn
- The number of individuals inside the space
- The distance maintained between individuals
- Time spent at the indoor location
- Whether or not there is proper ventilation
How These Factors Affect the Risk of Transmission
The above factors all come into play to determine the risk of transmission of the coronavirus. Studies have found that when masks are worn properly, the number of individuals inside the space is limited, at least six feet of distance between each individual is maintained, the amount of time spent in the indoor space is limited, and the indoor space is properly ventilated, the risk of contagion is much lower.
To examine the ways in which these factors affect transmission in various indoor environments, EL PAÍS conducted a study using the Covid Airborne Transmission Estimator. For example, they found that in a restaurant with reduced capacity (1 infected patron, 14 non-infected patrons, and 3 staff members), at least 14 individuals will contract the virus if none of the above safety measures are in place. On the other hand, if masks are worn, individuals maintain a distance of six feet or more, the time each individual spent at the bar is reduced, and the bar is adequately ventilated, only 1 person will be at risk of infection.
What Does All of This Mean?
As the entire world continues in the fight against the coronavirus, it is incredibly important that we remain vigilant and informed. Countless superspreading events (such as weddings, parties, and more) have taken place and resulted in a devastating number of cases worldwide. As citizens, we have the responsibility to protect our nation by implementing proper safety measures, which have been proven to be critical to the containment of the pandemic.
Where Lex Air Conditioning and Heating Stands
As always, at Lex Air Conditioning and Heating, your safety and comfort are our top priorities. Being a local, family owned and operated company, we understand just how important it is to maintain a healthy, happy home. We also understand that it is our duty to do whatever we can to protect the members of our community by always staying informed and providing safe, reliable service. Turn to our qualified experts for reliable heating, air conditioning, and indoor air quality services to ensure your home and your family are taken care of. Backed by over 30 years of service experience, you can trust that our team will deliver exactly the service you deserve.Call (972) 217-8955 or contact us online to learn more about how we can take care of your home!