Humidity and Coronavirus
Researchers discovered that LOW humidity could substantially increase the risk of a coronavirus infection. The virus lives longer in dry environments. There's twice as much risk in a room if humidity is 20% or lower than a room with humidity at 50% or higher.
You can read the study here: Effects of Air Temperature and Relative Humidity on Coronavirus Survival on Surfaces
Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 12 March, 2010.
Researchers have also found that HIGH humidity can extend how long medium-sized droplets remain airborne by as much as 23 times. Droplets around 50-microns in diameter can travel as far as 16 feet.
Reduce humidity down to 50%, and those 50-micron droplets can't make it beyond 11 feet, cutting the distance they can travel by one-third.
You can read the study here: Transport and fate of human expiratory droplets—A modeling approach
Fluids 32, 083307 (2020); https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0021280
Submitted: 08 July 2020, Accepted: 16 July 2020, Published Online: 18 August 2020
Binbin Wang, Huijie Wu, and Xiu-Feng Wan
The two studies together provide a valuable lesson. The sweet-spot for humidity is 50%. It also demonstrates that if people stay 11-feet apart, they can significantly reduce their risk of infection.
"If the virus load associated with the droplets is proportional to the volume, almost 70% of the virus would be deposited on the ground during a cough," said author Binbin Wang. "Maintaining physical distance would significantly remediate the spread of this disease through reducing deposition of droplets onto people and through reducing the probability of inhalation of aerosols near the infectious source."
To provide a safer environment at WeBeFit, we have increased the humidity in our facility from 40% to 50%.
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