Researchers create visual guide to help stay Covid-safe this Christmas

2 Dec 2020


Researchers at UCC have created a visual guide with recommendations for staying safe in the home over Christmas during the Covid-19 pandemic.

While Government Covid-19 restrictions are set to ease over the Christmas period, the Irish public have been asked to take extra caution when it comes to mixing with other households.

With that in mind, researchers at University College Cork (UCC) have created a visual guide to help people stay safe indoors over the festive period, particularly when it comes to keeping a home well ventilated.

“Research clearly shows that ventilation plays a very important role in preventing the spread of Covid-19,” said Prof John Wenger, director of the Centre for Research into Atmospheric Chemistry (CRAC) at UCC.

“Fresh air is safer air and you don’t need to freeze! It is important we follow all public health advice and our guide is designed to help us have a safe Christmas in the home.”

Infographic showing interior of a house and how to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Click on the image for a larger version. Image: UCC

Among the key recommendations are:

  • Use a CO2 sensor to monitor the ventilation in a room
  • Open windows, even just a small bit, to get a flow of air through the house
  • Sit as far away as possible to people who are from another household or support bubble
  • Keep bathroom windows open all of the time or the extraction fan on
  • Close the toilet lid before you flush
  • Use a portable air purifier to remove the virus from the air
  • Avoid Christmas carols as singing is known to release a lot more virus particles than talking
  • In the kitchen, keep the extractor fan on to ensure additional ventilation

Wenger again warned that airborne transmission is significantly higher in poorly ventilated spaces, and there is “no safe distance from an infected person” under these conditions.

“We will be spending more time indoors this winter and the risk of the virus spreading is even higher,” he said. “Accepting the reality of airborne transmission is now more important than ever as it will empower us to fight back stronger against Covid-19.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic