How COVID-19 Spreads Indoors Vs. Outdoors

We all know that COVID-19 spreads primarily through close contact with infected persons. What does actually mean? If someone with COVID-19 coughs and sneezes, or sings or talks, it means they are dispersing small respiratory droplets that carry the virus into the atmosphere. These droplets are very heavy and cannot travel far in the air. However, if you’re within six feet of someone, these droplets could land in their nose or mouth. It is recommended that you wear a mask whenever you are near people from outside your household. Because it prevents respiratory droplets from being expelled into the atmosphere, your mask can stop COVID-19 from spreading.

What about aerosols? This term has been used in connection with COVID-19 for the past few months. Although aerosols are not the same as droplets, they can be created in the same manner and may also occur by certain medical procedures. The National Center for Biotechnology Information, (NCBI) states that aerosols are smaller than droplets and evaporate faster in the atmosphere. This causes viruses to travel farther than droplets. Scientists and researchers still have much to learn about COVID-19’s spread and how it spreads. 1 Although there is more information being discovered each day, it is important that everyone continues to wear masks, keep their hands clean, and socially distance themselves from others.

Ventilation: Why Is This Important?

You spent more time outdoors in the spring and summer of 2020 because it was recommended by top health organizations as a way for you to socialize, enjoy food, and so on. Why? But why was outdoor activity preferred over indoor activities? It all comes down to ventilation.

Ventilation refers to the act of moving air from outside into a small space. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, increasing ventilation can reduce indoor airborne viruses. 2 Outdoor air circulation makes it easier for contaminants to spread. Outdoor dining, exercise classes, and time spent in nature have been recommended activities for the past few months. You should also remember that just spending time outside won’t reduce your chances of contracting COVID-19. It must be combined with other safety precautions that we have discussed in this article.

Proper ventilation is more important if you spend time indoors. Proper ventilation is even more important if you spend time indoors.

How To Increase Indoor Ventilation

Many parts of the country are experiencing bitterly cold weather, so you may be spending more time indoors. There are simple ways to improve the ventilation in your home this winter. These are the recommended methods from the EPA. 4

  • If possible, open windows and screened doors whenever the weather permits
  • Window fans and air conditioners with vents or outside air intake are good options.
  • If possible, turn on the bathroom fan when not in use.

As we have already mentioned, indoor ventilation is not sufficient to prevent COVID-19 transmission. Also, remember to avoid the three Cs.

  • Closed indoor spaces
  • Situations of close contact
  • Crowded places

The three W’s are available to help you navigate COVID-19 with additional protection.

  • Wear your mask
  • Wash your hands
  • Keep your distance from other people

It can be overwhelming to have to start a new season with different recommendations during a pandemic. But we are here to help. Call The Wellness Firm center if you suspect you have COVID-19, or if you have been in contact with someone who has. We offer to test for COVID-19 and other flu symptoms.

This post was written by a medical professional at The Wellness Firm.  The Wellness Firm provides onsite Flu Shots, onsite rapid COVID event testing, employee physical examination, as well as American Heart Association CPR certification classes. We have professionals that provide in-person hands-on, quality training.