𝐖𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐤 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 airborne transmission…𝐚𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧. 𝐀𝐧𝐝, 𝐰𝐡𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐮𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐞𝐬, 𝐚𝐢𝐫𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐞𝐬, 𝐜𝐡𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐬, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐥𝐬.
For months now, I have felt like a broken record saying COVID-19 is airborne. Signing, shouting, and playing instruments can spread it farther and quicker. But, also breathing can too in enclosed spaces.
Studies continue to confirm those findings. Early on the in pandemic, the CDC used wording that said that COVID-19 was thought to spread mainly between people in close contact — about 6 feet — and “through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.”
That was a problem – many people I talked with in workplaces, churches, and schools took that as evidence that being in an enclosed space with proper physical distancing was enough (and why many people did not and still do not believe in masking inside buildings). For example, the thought was that being in a sporting event with loud shouting or church with singing was safe as long as you were 6 feet apart – due mainly to the misconception that the larger particles (like a sneeze you can see) were the way COVID-19 was transmitted.
From the beginning, we have known differently though:
✅ April – A prestigious scientific group of leaders in infectious diseases and public health wrote a letter to the White House stating: “Currently available research supports the possibility that [coronavirus] could be spread via bioaerosols generated directly by patients’ exhalation,” the letter said.
✅ July – 239 scientists from around the world published a letter to the WHO advocating for them to recognize the importance of airborne transmission. They note the strong potential for COVID-19 to spread around a room through the air. (BTW, many of these 239 scientists are the top, top, top of the field for virology, infectious diseases, and air quality.)
✅ August – Doctors found COVID-19 in the air of patient’s rooms.
✅ In May, I did a webinar discussing how COVID-19 can travel through the air around a room (up to 27 feet) – far and fast. In the webinar, we look at the science of how far COVID-19 can travel through shouting/singing, how doctors have found the virus outside of patients rooms (even in negative pressure spaces – which is concerning for healthcare), and how aerosoled particles are different than the bigger, respiratory particles. That webinar has a lot of the science with graphs and pictures about airborne transmission. The webinar was mainly directed to singing but can be applied to sporting events and enclosed workspaces too.
✅ I’m also linking to another article written about being in an enclosed workspace/church/area and how to protect yourself and others. (Enclosed workspace post below in sources).
𝐌𝐚𝐬𝐤 𝐮𝐩, 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬. 𝐀𝐧𝐝, 𝐥𝐞𝐭’𝐬 𝐩𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐛𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐫 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐯𝐢𝐫𝐮𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐢𝐫𝐛𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲. 𝐖𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐚 𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐤. Masks work really, really well.
-Friendly neighbor epidemiologist
CDC Website: https://www.cdc.gov/…/prevent-gettin…/how-covid-spreads.html
COVID-19 in the air of ICU room: https://www.medrxiv.org/conte…/10.1101/2020.08.03.20167395v1
Webinar on airborne transmission: https://tinyurl.com/y9vcnhco
The risk in enclosed spaces: https://www.facebook.com/friendlyneighborepidemiologist/posts/167293291559995