Safety

Coronavirus can be spread through airborne transmission

Hospital Safety Insider, October 8, 2020

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By Brian Ward

Coronavirus droplets and particles “can linger in the air for minutes to hours,” said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in their updated COVID-19 guidance on October 5. The infection can also spread between people standing 6 feet apart in the right circumstances.

“CDC’s recommendations remain the same based on existing science and after a thorough technical review of the guidance,” the agency said. “People can protect themselves from the virus that causes COVID-19 by staying at least 6 feet away from others, wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth, washing their hands frequently, cleaning touched surfaces often and staying home when sick.”

The CDC emphasized that most infections come from close contact or touching contaminated surfaces, rather than airborne transmission. And that while it is possible for COVID-19 to infect others more than 6 feet away, it only does so under certain circumstances—such as in within enclosed spaces with inadequate ventilation, or when the infected person was breathing heavily.

“Under these circumstances, scientists believe that the amount of infectious smaller droplet and particles produced by the people with COVID-19 became concentrated enough to spread the virus to other people. The people who were infected were in the same space during the same time or shortly after the person with COVID-19 had left,” the agency wrote.

 



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