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Coronavirus Airborne Transmission: How Can You Stay Safe Indoors?

Medically reviewed by Dexter Macalintal, MD

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Mar 06, 2022

    Coronavirus Airborne Transmission: How Can You Stay Safe Indoors?

    It’s no secret that people can get sick through coronavirus airborne transmission. This is why experts recommend that people wear masks whenever they go out, and to avoid being in cramped indoor spaces without proper ventilation.

    While it is true that the infection still happens outdoors, the chances of it happening are much lower. But why is this the case? And are there ways that people can keep themselves safe indoors?

    Coronavirus Airborne Transmission: How Does It Happen?

    Initially, it was thought that people could get infected with COVID-19 by being in close contact with a sick person. We were not yet aware that coronavirus airborne transmission is actually the main way that people get infected.

    Whenever a person with COVID-19 coughs, talks, sneezes, or exhales, they’re sending out droplets into the air. These droplets contain the virus, and when inhaled by others, they can get infected.

    Incidentally, coronavirus airborne transmission happens more in enclosed spaces without any ventilation. This is because the droplets can linger in still air since it doesn’t get blown away. This greatly increases a person’s chances of being infected.

    On the other hand, whenever a person is outdoors, the droplets can easily disperse into the air outside1. In turn, this means that the chances of getting sick outdoors are very small. This is why outdoor activities are much more ideal compared to indoor activities since there’s a lower risk of infection.

    Though, this doesn’t necessarily mean that people can just go outdoors and take off their masks. Infection can still happen, albeit it is much lower compared to indoors.

    What can you do to stay safe indoors?

    Now that we know how indoor air becomes a vector for COVID-19, are there any ways that we can protect ourselves while indoors?

    Make sure you have proper ventilation coming from outside

    A lot of places with air conditioning tend to circulate indoor air. This means that no fresh air from outside is coming in, and the air that is already in the room is just cooled and recirculated. This can be a risk with COVID-19, since if there is contaminated air, it will just spread even more because of air conditioning.

    Instead of relying on air conditioning to keep a room cool, you can instead opt to open doors or windows to let outside air in.

    Use fans to improve airflow

    Another thing that you can do would be to take advantage of fans to move air around your house3. This is because sometimes, even if you open a door or a window, the natural flow of air might not allow air from outside to flow freely.

    Using a fan to blow in fresh air from outside can better help move air around the house. This is especially important if someone who has been exposed or infected is living with you.

    Air filters can help to an extent

    Having a proper air filter at home can indeed help lower the risk of being infected by COVID-194. They also work well in rooms that do not have enough ventilation. Though, it is important to know that air filters on their own are not enough to prevent infection. Using filters in conjunction with other safety practices works best.

    Key Takeaways

    When it comes to preventing COVID-19, getting vaccinated and staying at home are the best ways to be safe. However, improving the ventilation and circulation of air in your home to mimic that of the outdoors can also help lower the risk of infection5.

    So make sure that your home has proper ventilation so that you can protect you and your family against COVID-19.

    Learn more about Coronavirus here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Dexter Macalintal, MD

    Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Mar 06, 2022

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