COVID-19 Spread By Respiratory Droplets

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Day 125: Stay Safe Minnesota

Recent research results suggests that COVID-19 is spread primarily by respiratory droplets — not touching surfaces.

The mandatory face masks requirement during indoor visits went into effect last weekend in Minnesota, controversies around wearing face masks continues. In the Star tribune, Jeremy Olson writes that MN health officials more than 80 complained of non-compliance.

MN Health commissioner Jan Malcolm pleaded to Minnesotans to comply with masks wearing as much as possible to prevent the exponential rise in cases happening in other states.

We certainly don’t want Minnesota to experience the same catastrophic results of that very, very fast growth that we have seen in Florida, Texas and other states. We as citizens have a great deal of influence over whether that happens.

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm (source: The Star Tribune)

COVID-19 has reawakened America’s spirit of misdirected anxiety, inspiring businesses and families to obsess over risk-reduction rituals that make us feel safer but don’t actually do much to reduce risk—even as more dangerous activities are still allowed. From the Atlantic.

Spread via Droplets

In a recent commentary published in journal The Lancet, Rutgers University Microbiologist Emanuel Goldman writes that risk of transmission of COVID-19 by fomites (surface areas) is exaggerated.

My point is not to relax, but rather to focus on what matters and what works. Masks, social distancing, and moving activities outdoors. That’s it. That’s how we protect ourselves. That’s how we beat this thing.

Emmanuel Goldman (Source: The Atlantic)

“But in the past few months, scientists have converged on a theory of how this disease travels: via air. The disease typically spreads among people through large droplets expelled in sneezes and coughs, or through smaller aerosolized droplets, as from conversations, during which saliva spray can linger in the air.” From The Atlantic

Layered Masks Are Better

In a new study published in the medical journal Thorax, cloth masks that are made at home should have at least two layers to help prevent the dispersal COVID-19 of viral droplets from the nose and mouth.

A single-layer cloth face covering reduced the droplet spread, but a double-layer covering performed better. Even a single-layer face covering is better than nothing.

Thorax

“These findings are in line with those from a study published earlier this month, which reported that a stitched, double-layered cotton mask was more effective at keeping respiratory droplets from reaching others than a single-layer bandana-style covering, a non-stitched mask made from folding up a cotton handkerchief, or a non-sterile cone-style mask available in most pharmacies.” From the MinnPost.

Coronavirus Pandemic Watch

According to the MDH latest tally (as of July 29, 11 a.m.) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 52,947 (out of 993,091 tested) with 1,589 deaths. According to Johns Hopkins database (as of July 29, 5:34 p.m.) there are 4,414,834 confirmed covid19 infection with 150,159 deaths. Globally the covid19 virus has infected 16,940,174 with 662,738 deaths.