Three people wearing face masks overlaying a city scape.

Covid-19: How to Keep Buildings Safe

What to do when Covid-19 endangers the great indoors.

By Brian W. Simpson • Infographic by Dung Hoang

The SARS-CoV-2 virus can threaten you when it’s lingering in the air—and even when it’s not there at all.

A good ventilation system can help clear the air and reduce the risk of transmission, though masks and social distancing are still important, says Ana María Rule, PhD ’05, MHS ’98, an Environmental Health and Engineering assistant professor. Yet by causing buildings like dorms and hotels to be left empty or under-occupied for months, the coronavirus has spawned a very different threat: Legionella bacteria, say EHE’s Professor Kellogg Schwab, PhD, MSPH; assistant scientist Natalie Exum, PhD ’16, MS; and PhD student Monica Lee.

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