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How to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Small and Enclosed Spaces
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that transmits through the air when a person is exposed to
respiratory droplets carrying the infectious virus and, as such, one of the best ways to control
its spread is social distancing. However, in small and enclosed spaces where that is not
possible, like elevators or public washrooms, other strategies should be applied instead. In
that regard, the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in small and enclosed spaces is to
disinfect and sanitize these environments properly and frequently.
One of the main aspects that make small and enclosed spaces so risky is poor ventilation,
which means that fresh air can’t flow freely inside and most of the air becomes stale.
Improving ventilation by simply opening windows and doors whenever possible is then
necessary as a first step to prevent the spread of diseases and disinfect in these spaces. If it is
not possible, the use of facemasks should be mandatory for all people coming inside the
space, and communication about the importance of physical distancing and hand hygiene
should be reinforced.
Related: Proactively Preventing the Spread of Covid-19
Ventilation can be also achieved with certain equipment like air filters, air conditioners, and
even fans. Doing it this way won’t give you the same benefits as natural ventilation, which is
providing healthy air for people to breathe by diluting and removing pollutants and
contaminants from the space itself. Nonetheless, artificial ventilation can help reduce the
spread of COVID-19 in indoor spaces by increasing the rate of air change and decreasing
recirculation, and as well as reducing pockets of stagnant air in an enclosed space.
One of the downsides of artificial ventilation is the fact that even though it minimizes the
duration of people’s exposure to any potentially infectious droplets produced by a cough or
sneeze in the space; air blowing from an infected person to another in an enclosed