Yale doctor weighs in on safer way to travel with others in the car during the pandemic

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Even during the pandemic most people still have a need to travel, but the inside of a vehicle is not considered to be a safe place.

A recent study sheds light on how it can be done without having all of the windows down.

Yale Medicine physician F. Perry Wilson said ideally travel only with people in your bubble or your immediate household.

“The important thing is though, don’t leave all the windows up and have the recirculating air button turned on,” said Dr. Wilson. “The more air you can exchange in any given period of time, the safer you are. You’re going to want to get those virus particles out the window as quickly as possible.”

He weighed on a study by The University of Massachusetts Amherst that used simulations and smoke studies. Ideally, all vehicle windows should be open, but that is not always realistic.

The study’s results reveal that with two people wearing masks there is a safe way to create air flow.

“You should be sitting in the back right so you’re as far away and two windows should be open: the front passenger window and the back left window,” said Dr. Wilson.

As for taxis and ridesharing, Dr. Wilson reminds people that just because your driver appears to be healthy does not mean that they are.

“Remember one of the sort of superpowers of coronavirus is that it can spread from asymptomatic people,” said Dr. Wilson.

As for cleaning vehicles, Dr. Wilson points out that one of the positive things about the COVID-19 virus is that it is easily killed by most cleaning products, so wiping down surfaces goes a long way. He said the cleaning product does not even need to contain bleach.

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