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Experts say time spent in potential high-risk areas could increase coronavirus exposure

They're stressing how much time spent in high-risk environments, especially indoors, can make you vulnerable.

ATLANTA — By now most people are aware of the common ways to protect yourself from coronavirus: wearing masks, washing your hands, and keeping six feet apart.

But, this blog post is now catching people’s attention.

It’s stressing that too much time spent in high-risk environments can make you vulnerable.

Dr. Erin Bromage, an immunologist and professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, wrote an equation in his blog: “successful infection = exposure to virus x time”.

“Minimizing the amount of time you spend in those environments becomes really important in lowering your risk,” Dr. Bromage said in an interview with MSNBC.

Some of those high-risk places Dr. Bromage mentions include workplaces, public transport, social gatherings, restaurants, and homes.

He said some of the ways the virus gets into the environment include sneezing, talking, yelling, and singing.

“The longer an infected person spends in that area, the more they could potentially release it into the environment which then increases the risk for everyone else in that restaurant,” he said.

Dr. Bromage added a single cough releases 3,000 droplets containing the virus.

Compare that to a single sneeze which he said releases about 30,000 droplets that can travel up to 200 miles per hour.

Doctor Sujatha Reddy said overall, Dr. Bromage’s equation is right. But, she said there are also factors that make each situation different.

“There are a lot of variables. How much virus is that person expelling? Are they expelling a large amount or small amount? We just don’t have that information,” she said.

Dr. Reddy stressed taking stock of your own daily surroundings.

With businesses starting to reopen, Dr. Reddy encourages everyone to still wear masks to contain what you release into the air and still follow social distancing guidelines.

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