Sunday, June 21, 2020

COVID Facts

A Guide to What to Know About COVID-19 | Smart News | Smithsonian ...

This past week I had to complete a "returning to work" module on Covid 19 knowledge for the University of Nevada. While I dreaded completing yet another (boring) on line training, this module actually had some information that I found helpful. I'd like to share a few of these facts as I've found getting good, reliable data about the COVID-19 challenging the past few months.

How many virus particles does it take to become infected with COVID-19? It is estimated it takes approx. 1000 virus particles to become infected with COVID-19.  Here is a list of approx. how long it would take to inhale 1000 particles by different activity:

  • Breathing: an infected person sheds approx. 20 particles per minute, so it would take about 50 minutes to inhale 1000 particles and potentially become infected. 
  • Speaking: an infected person sheds approx. 200 particles per minute, so it would take about 5 minutes  to inhale 1000 particles and potentially become infected. 
  • Cough: One cough contains approx 200,000,000 viral particles, so exposure time to inhale 1000 particles is immediate. 
  • Sneeze: One sneeze contains approx 200,000,000 viral particles, so exposure time to inhale 1000 particles is immediate. 

How long does SARS-CoV2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) last outside the body? (From a study and paper by the New England Journal of Medicine, CDC, UCLA, Princeton)

  • As an aerosol in the air--up to 3 hours*
  • On copper--up to 4 hours
  • On cardboard--up to 24 hours
  • On plastic--2-3 days
  • On stainless steel--2-3 days 
*Researchers used a nebulizer to simulate coughing or sneezing and found that the virus became an aerosol. 


Because the SARS-CoV-2 virus may remain viable on non-porous surfaces for several days, you should disinfect surfaces using a product that meets the EPA criteria for use against the virus. The University of Nevada uses TB-Cide Quat to disinfect. An important note. There is a difference between cleaning (wiping off dirt/grime) and disinfecting a surface. To disinfect, you need to spray the surface from approx 6" away, and allow the disinfectant to sit on the surface for approx. 2 minutes. You can then wipe the surface off, and finish by washing your hands.

So friends, wear your mask, wash your hands, and stay safe.

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