Transmission of COVID-19: What to look out for

Here are some key points from research compiled for the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and Published on 26 May 2020.

The research looked at:

  1. Transmission through airborne, droplet and contact routes and considered the evidence relating to time spent in an environment, distance to the source (2 metre rule),
  2. Transmission on surfaces and how ventilation affected impact.

The research is based on evidence available as at 26 April 2020.  Here are the key points.  You can read the research in full at the link below this article.

  • The risk of virus transmission through droplets (coughing/sneezing/exhaling) decreases with distance.
  • There is evidence that 2 metres is a distance where risk drops to an acceptable level for face-to-face interactions.
  • The longer you are in close contact with someone, the more likely it is that the virus is transmitted.
  • Exposure to the virus from a cough is more risky than exposure to someone talking; exposure to 1 cough at 2 metres is comparable to talking for 1 minute at 1 metre distance and talking for 30 minutes at 2 metre distance.
  • Improving ventilation for poorly ventilated areas may help.
  • Surface contacts are likely to be the most significant transmission route. Evidence to date suggests the virus can persist on surfaces at a level that may pose a risk for up to 48 hours, while it is unlikely to persist in air for more than 30 minutes.  This is why cleaning, handwashing and hygiene measures are important.
  • A risk assessment approach to enable environmental factors to be
    incorporated into plans for reopening workplaces, schools and other environments.

Read the full report. 

Read more on the Government’s new Test and Trace service.

Read here why face coverings are important in confined spaces.