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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Does COVID-19 stick to the elevator?

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

For those who live or work in high-rise buildings, the use of the elevator seems dangerous during the time of the corona pandemic. The elevators are not spacious enough to allow social distancing. Their use by infected people can transmit the virus through respiration and its droplets. Even if you are alone in the elevator, your chances of infection are real, albeit small. The virus can be found on buttons and handles, and droplets can be suspended in the air after the COVID-19 carrier is released.

Professor Richard Corsi of the University of Portland, an air quality specialist, has come up with a model that explains the mechanism for transmitting corona indoors. It all depends, however, on the size of the chamber, its speed of movement, the time of opening the doors and the presence of ventilation in the chamber. Dr Corsi calculated that if a passenger entered the elevator on the first floor and travelled alone for 31 seconds without wearing a mask while coughing or talking on the phone, droplets containing the virus would come out of his mouth and fall to the floor or continue to hover inside the chamber.

If the passenger lands on the 10th floor and the doors remain open for 10 seconds, some of the infected droplets will follow him, while the air circulation will remove about half of them. When the elevator returns to the ground floor, where the next occupant of the building will board, the opening of the door will lead to a new air renewal, further limiting the chances of infection. Based on this standard, the second passenger has a 25% chance of being infected by the coronavirus. Dr Corsi, however, warns that this percentage may vary depending on the size of the chamber, the atmospheric pressure inside the building and the presence of ventilation.

The solution, according to experts, is to follow reasonable safety rules, such as avoiding using the elevator with others, using a mask and washing or disinfecting your hands immediately after leaving the room.

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