Some activities are a lot safer than others when it comes to Covid transmission risk., according to research published by ACS Publications.

In the study, both how the virus is transmitted and where this transmission is most likely are examined.

Coronavirus spreads mainly by airborne transmission which means the keys to understanding how we actually become infected are actaully physics and chemistry.

Air is a fluid made up of invisible, rapidly and randomly moving molecules, so airborne particles disperse over time indoors, such as in a room or on a bus.

An infected person may exhale particles containing the virus, and the closer you are to them, the more likely you are to inhale some virus-containing particles with the risk increasing the longer you spend near that person.

A close-up of a positive coronavirus lateral flow test

You are more likely to test positive after being in certain places for a certain amount of time.

Being outdoors decreases the chances of transmission as the space is infinite, meaning the virus does not build up in the air the same way it would do inside.

However, the virus can still be passed to you from an infected person if you are close enough to them.

The study examined data on how many people became infected in superspreader events where key parameters, such as the room size, room occupancy and ventilation levels, were well-documented.

The results allow conclusions to be drawn in terms on situations where you may be more or less likely to contract coronavirus.

The research highlighted situations where your risk may be increased:

  • Gather together with lots of people in an enclosed space with poor air quality, such as an under-ventilated gym, nightclub or school classroom

  • Do something strenuous or rowdy such as exercising, singing or shouting

  • Leave off your masks

  • Stay somewhere for a long time.

According to the study, to avoid catching Covid you should:

  • If you must meet other people, do so outdoors or in a space that’s well-ventilated or meet in a space where the ventilation is good and air quality is known

  • Keep the number of people to a minimum

  • Spend the minimum possible amount of time together

  • Don’t shout, sing or do heavy exercise

  • Wear high-quality, well-fitting masks from the time you enter the building to the time you leave.

The results give an estimated figure but all situations will be slightly different.

Things like room size, how may people are mixing and the ventilation are important factors to consider when trying to determine the risk of transmission.

Someone in the are actually carrying Covid-19 is obviously an essential factor.

If you fancy putting in your own data for a particular setting and activity, you can try the team’s COVID-19 Aerosol Transmission Estimator.

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reporters@dailyrecord.co.uk (Mya Bollan)

www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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