One COVID-19 prevention method that health experts—including Dr. Anthony Fauci—has been attempting to reiterate time and again, is that outdoors is always better than indoors. Why? Air naturally circulates outside, making it less likely for virus particles to transmit from person-to-person. However, when indoors, there is one way you can take extra precaution. “Along with wearing masks&staying 6 ft apart, increased ventilation can help reduce spread of #COVID19 in schools,” the CDC tweeted this week, sharing guidance on how to safely reopen schools. They also offered a number of ways to maximize ventilation. Read on to find out what they are—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
“If safe to do so, open windows and doors,” the CDC suggests. “Even just cracking open a window or door helps increase outdoor airflow, which helps reduce the potential concentration of virus particles in the air. If it gets too cold or hot, adjust the thermostat. Do not open windows or doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk (such as falling, exposure to extreme temperatures, or triggering asthma symptoms).”
Turn on a Fan
To maximize the effectiveness of open windows, you can also turn on a fan.” Safely secure fans in a window to blow potentially contaminated air out and pull new air in through other open windows and doors,” they suggest.
Another way to improve circulation is ensuring your HVAC settings are maximizing ventilation. They are specifically referring to schools, but at a more personal level this could simply mean ensuring “your ventilation systems are serviced and meeting code requirements,” providing “acceptable indoor air quality.”
Remember, Particles Can Live in the Air for Possibly Hours, Says the CDC
“Some infections can be spread by exposure to virus in small droplets and particles that can linger in the air for minutes to hours,” says the CDC. “These viruses may be able to infect people who are further than 6 feet away from the person who is infected or after that person has left the space.” In fact: “There is evidence that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than 6 feet away. These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation. Sometimes the infected person was breathing heavily, for example while singing or exercising.”
Follow the Other Fundamentals
So follow Fauci’s fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.