Allowing fresh air into indoor spaces can help to reduce the risk of infection from coronavirus by more than 70 per cent according to a new public health short film fronted by TV GP, Dr Zoe Williams.
The short film launched by the Government, illustrates how coronavirus lingers in spaces with no fresh air, increasing the risk of people breathing in infected particles, and how the risk can be reduced significantly by regularly ventilating enclosed areas.
The film, which forms part of the wider ‘Hands. Face. Space’ campaign, advises that, since we are spending more time indoors due to the colder weather, we should all be opening windows for short, sharp bursts of 10 -15 minutes regularly throughout the day, or leave windows open a small amount continuously, to remove any infected particles lingering in the room.
Additionally, it is advised that any household systems that use outdoor air, including kitchen or bathroom extractor fans, are used correctly and regularly as an additional method to remove infected particles.
Airing indoor spaces is particularly important when:
- People have visitors (when permitted) or tradespeople in their home, for example for construction or emergencies
- Someone from a support bubble is meeting with another household indoors
- A care worker is seeing a patient indoors; or
- If someone in the household has the virus, as this can help prevent transmission to other household members.
Coronavirus is spread through the air by droplets and smaller particles (known as aerosols) that are exhaled from the nose and mouth of an infected person as they breathe, speak or cough. They behave in a similar way to smoke but are invisible. The majority of virus transmissions happen indoors. Being indoors, with no fresh air, the particles can remain suspended in the air for hours and build up over time.
“In the winter when we all tend to spend more time indoors, fresh air is extremely beneficial to help reduce transmission of COVID-19…”
The longer people spend in the same room as these particles, the more likely they are to become infected.
Lending her support to the campaign, TV doctor and presenter, Dr Zoe Williams, said: “In the winter when we all tend to spend more time indoors, fresh air is extremely beneficial to help reduce transmission of COVID-19, in case someone in your home has the virus. It is important to ventilate indoor spaces, as this can help to remove virus particles from the air and protect other household members.
“You should also let fresh air into your home when you have any visitors and for a short time after they leave in case, they are infected. Remember, opening windows alongside washing your hands, covering your face and making space is also essential in reducing your risk of COVID-19.”
Watch the short film below
Ventilation to provide fresh air in enclosed spaces is just as important as the other actions, so remember this as well as Hands, Face, Space. These are the most effective ways we can all control the spread of the virus.
Visit gov.uk/coronavirus for more information.