Masks, Ventilation Stop COVID Spread Better than Social Distancing – Study

A new study from the University of Central Florida (UCF) suggests that masks and a good ventilation system are more important than social distancing for reducing the airborne spread of COVID-19 in classrooms.

The research, published recently in the journal Physics of Fluids, comes at a critical time when schools and universities are considering returning to more in-person classes in the fall.

In the study, the researchers created a computer model of a classroom with students and a teacher, then modeled airflow and disease transmission, and calculated airborne-driven transmission risk.

“The research is important as it provides guidance on how we are understanding safety in indoor environments,” says Michael Kinzel, an assistant professor in UCF’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and study co-author.

“The study finds that aerosol transmission routes do not display a need for six feet social distancing when masks are mandated,” he says. “These results highlight that with masks, transmission probability does not decrease with increased physical distancing, which emphasizes how mask mandates may be key to increasing capacity in schools and other places.”

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Masks, Ventilation Stop COVID Spread Better than Social Distancing – Study

  1. Our school system, unlike many in Michigan, has done phenomenally well this last stretch. They were open till Thanksgiving, then shut till January 9, and open since. Rather than other school districts ascertaining what we did right, there’s been talk of shutting everything down due to the recent surge in cases, even though we remain in excellent shape… even with sports (that they’ve also talked about shutting down again). I’m tempted, politically, to throw our governor under the school bus as many conservatives want, because her first lockdown was clearly political and meant to hurt Trump (and why she hasn’t shut down now even though the numbers are even worse than the first lockdown). I, on the other hand, know how bad the destruction was and don’t care about the politics. Another lockdown would be disastrous. It’s time to follow the science for real… not just give it lip service in the name of politics.

    Liked by 1 person

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