Where to sit to avoid the COVID-19 superspreader in the room

It doesn’t take long for airborne coronavirus particles to make their way into a room. At first, only people sitting near an infected speaker are at high risk, but as the meeting or class continues, the tiny aerosols can spread.

This does not mean, however, that everyone faces the same level of risk.

As an engineer, I conducted experiments on how aerosols move, including those whose size can carry viruses.

What I have found is important to understand as more and more people return to universities, offices and restaurants and more and more meetings move indoors when the temperatures drop. It indicates the most risky areas in rooms and explains why adequate ventilation is crucial.

As we saw last week with President Donald Trump and others in Washington, the coronavirus can spread quickly up close if precautions are not taken. College campuses have also been grappling with COVID-19. Cases among 18 to 22 year olds more than doubled in the Midwest and Northeast after schools reopened in August.

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