Without masks, the two-meter physical separation rule is insufficient to prevent COVID-19 transmission inside. The study’s findings were published in the journal ‘Building and Environment.’ According to Quebec, Illinois, and Texas, wearing a mask indoors can reduce the contamination range of airborne particles by 67 percent.
“Mask mandates and good ventilation are critically important to curb the spread of more contagious strains of COVID-19, especially during the flu season and winter months as more people socialize indoors,” said Saad Akhtar, a former doctoral student under the supervision of Professor Agus Sasmito at McGill University.
While most public health guidelines prescribe a two-meter physical separation between persons from different houses, the researchers claim that this is insufficient to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
Researchers discovered that when people aren’t wearing masks, more than 70% of airborne particles breach the two-meter threshold in less than 30 seconds. When masks are used, however, less than 1% of particles exceed the two-meter mark. The team from McGill University, Universite de Sherbrooke, Texas A&M University, and Northern Illinois University built a computer programme that precisely mimic coughing dynamics in indoor areas, based on models used by scientists to investigate the movement of liquids and gases.
Ventilation, posture, and mask use all had a considerable impact on bio-contaminant dissemination, age and gender had just a minor impact.
Coughing is a common way for sick people to transfer infections into the air. “This study advances the understanding of how infectious particles can spread from a source to its surroundings and can help policymakers and governments make informed decisions about guidelines for masks and distancing in indoor settings,” Akhtar concluded.