Question Let's say an infected person coughs or sneezes in an elevator, and a non-infected person walks into that elevator 5 or 10 minutes later...

Mar 27, 2020
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...can the non-infected person inhale the virus? How long would COVID-19 particles stay in the air of an elevator to infect someone?
 

jpishgar

Administrator
Staff member
Nov 11, 2019
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Up to 3 hours, according to researchers.

This is a big part of the reason that it's so critical not to go out into public places unless absolutely needed.

Wash your hands. Don't go out in public areas unless you must.
 
Mar 27, 2020
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Up to 3 hours, according to researchers.

This is a big part of the reason that it's so critical not to go out into public places unless absolutely needed.

Wash your hands. Don't go out in public areas unless you must.
Thank you for sharing that article. Oh boy, this is really bad news for me. I am in a situation where I am obligated to leave my house everyday and my apartment is on the 14th floor. On top of that, my cardiovascular health isn't the greatest. If I try and climb 14 flights of stairs, COVID-19 will be the least of my problems. Heart attack will get me first. What to do, what to do... I guess I'll take the stairs and hope I don't have a heart attack.
 

jpishgar

Administrator
Staff member
Nov 11, 2019
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24
55
You're probably fine to continue taking the elevator, in that case. But practice as much safety as you can - bump the elevator buttons with your elbow instead of your fingers, be sure to wash your hands before leaving your home, and before starting anything after you arrive at your destination. It's impossible to be 100% safe, but you can absolutely take proactive steps to limit your exposure and reduce potential infection, or spreading infection to others. Handwashing and social distancing (remaining 6 or more feet away from others while out) is critical.
 
Apr 7, 2020
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I think you need to put on scuba gear to be safe. The virus can still deposit on the scuba gear and your clothes and eventually to your hands and then when you touch your eyes or nose, you can get infected. If there is a suction fan in the elevator, It might pull out the virus from the cab. You need to keep a piece of paper towel to insulate your finger when pushing the elevator button and carefully discard it when you get off. The virus can be airborne because small drops do not fall quickly to the ground and some people believe there are virus traces in human exhaled air. The poorer countries have 100 times lower infection rates that I think is due to fewer high rise buildings and open ventilation.
 

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