How leaving your windows open at night could reduce your risk of Covid

LEAVING your windows open at night could reduce your risk of catching the coronavirus, experts have claimed.

Coronavirus particles linger in the air and letting fresh air into indoor spaces could help reduce your risk of catching the killer bug by up to 70 per cent.

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The Department of Health and Social Care created a short film in conjunction with scientists at Leeds University to show how particles spread and how ventilating your home could lower your risk of Covid.

As we continue into winter, people will be spending more time indoors and the film highlights the importance of leaving your windows open – especially if you have tradespeople or care workers – or anyone from outside your household over to visit.

Research shows that being in a room with fresh air can reduce your risk of infection from particles by over 70 per cent, as fresh air dilutes the particles.

The Department of Health recommends opening windows for short sharp bursts of 10-15 minutes throughout the day.

It also states that you can “leave windows open a small amount continuously to remove any infected particles lingering in the room”.

 

The department also states that kitchen and bathroom extractor fans should be used on a regular basis to remove infected particles.

The new clip promotes the message of “hands, face, space”, and viewers are shown various daily scenarios.

The clip shows people washing their hands when returning home from a day at school and also shows a tradesperson wearing a face covering and another person standing out of their way while they complete the work.

Windows are opened throughout the clip to show how the particles spread through the air.

Coronavirus droplets are heavy, so fall to the floor quicker, while the particles are small and can linger in the air.

Public Health Minister, Jo Churchill said ventilation is essential especially in the winter months.

She added: “As the weather gets colder and wetter, letting in fresh air in short burst helps to reduce the risk of coronavirus in our homes.

“We should all remember: open your windows, and Hands. Face. Space.”

Another expert highlighted transmission of the virus can occur through loud speech and if you are in close proximity to someone – then it’s key to keep the area ventilated.

Professor Catherine Noakes, from Leeds University who advised on the film, said: “When a room does not have any fresh air, and where people are generating large amounts of aerosol through activities such as singing and loud speech, that is when transmission of coronavirus is most likely.

“Fresh air must come from outdoors – recirculating air just means the aerosols containing the virus move around the same room rather than being extracted outdoors.

“Ventilation units or any household systems that use outdoor air can be just as effective as opening windows or doors as long as they are limiting the recirculation of the same air.”

If windows are left closed then coronavirus particles can build up over time.

The experts added that the majority of transmission occurs indoors.

Dr Amir Khan said that ventilation should sit alongside the other key coronavirus messages such as Hands, Face and Space.

Dr Khan said that anyone suffering symptoms of the virus, which can be a high temperature, a new persistent cough or a loss of taste or smell, should get a free test available through the NHS.

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