filtration

How to use ventilation and air filtration to prevent the spread of coronavirus indoors

<span class="caption">Open windows are the simplest way to increase air flow in a room.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/man-with-mask-looking-out-of-window-royalty-free-image/1215148858?adppopup=true" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Justin Paget / Digital Vision via Getty Images"> Justin Paget / Digital Vision via Getty Images</a></span>
Open windows are the simplest way to increase air flow in a room. Justin Paget / Digital Vision via Getty Images

The vast majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs indoors, most of it from the inhalation of airborne particles that contain the coronavirus. The best way to prevent the virus from spreading in a home or business would be to simply keep infected people away. But this is hard to do when an estimated 40% of cases are asymptomatic and asymptomatic people can still spread the coronavirus to others.

Masks do a decent job at keeping the virus from spreading into the environment, but if an infected person is inside a building, inevitably some virus will escape into the air.

I am a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. Much of my work has focused on how to control the transmission of airborne infectious diseases indoors, and

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