According to scientists from the University of California, Davis and published in the American Society for Microbiology’s mSytems journal, opening your doors and windows may prevent the coronavirus from “settling” indoors and being recirculated through your home or business.
The new coronavirus is spread through coughing and sneezing via infected droplets and there is evidence it can survive on surfaces for up to three days.
The study from UC Davis suggests that opening your windows and introducing outside air directly into your home or business “has been shown to increase the phylogenetic diversity of indoor bacterial and fungal communities and create communities that are more similar to outdoor-associated microbes than air delivered through a centralized HVAC system.” Essentially, opening your windows increases the biodiversity of the air inside by replicating outside conditions and dilutes the number of coronavirus particles that can be inhaled. The study suggests that “window ventilation not only bypasses ductwork (HVAC) but increases outside air fraction and increases total air change rate as well.”
The CDC also recommends opening windows to increase air circulation as a key step in disinfecting an area where persons suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 have been. Specifically in facilities that do not house people overnight such as schools, daycare centers, and offices. Then they recommend “waiting 24 hours or as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection.”
Not only do windows provide an excellent source of outside air ventilation, it also provides a source of natural light. That same study states that “sunlight on influenza virus aerosols, virus half-life was significantly reduced from 31.6 min in the dark control group to approximately 2.4 min in simulated sunlight”. However, the study still states that more research is needed in this area to confirm their hypothesis. It goes on to say that sunlight “exists as a free, widely available resource to building occupants with little downside to its use and many documented positive human health benefits.”
The scientists also stress the importance of proper handwashing and proper cleaning methods using an alcohol-based cleaner or a 10% bleach solution. These are the most important mitigation methods.
So what’s stopping you? Open your windows, let in some fresh air, enjoy the sunlight, and possibly reduce your risk of coming into contact with the coronavirus!
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