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Omaha doctor debunks COVID wind travel theory

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 4:43 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Our weather forecasters say strong winds could increase fire dangers in our area, but could they also increase the travel of the coronavirus?

Dr. Joshua Santarpia has authorized several studies on COVID-19 transmission.

“If you think about like feeling like the water drops from somebody’s sprinkler, right when there are big high winds, that carries it just like that. Those droplets are sort of ballistic like the big drops from a sneeze or something like that and so yeah they’ll get picked up and carried a little farther,” said Santarpia.

Dr. Santarpia says the wind may do more to dilute the particles that come out of someone’s mouth.

“So really I don’t worry about increased transmission risk in windy weather, in fact, I think from an outdoor perspective one of the biggest things you have going for you is all of the air movement around you outside so the wind is going to do more to break up the jet of material that comes out of someone’s mouth,” said Santarpia.

Dr. Santarpia says people who are displaying symptoms should not be outside walking around. The doctor says it’s always a good idea to wear a mask when you are in contact with other people.

“All the particles that you produce could technically travel further with more airflow, but I don’t think that’s going to increase transmission risk in a significant way,” said Santarpia.

Dr. Santaria says six feet of distance between people is far enough for short term casual contact.

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