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Prevent contamination and live as normal as possible

About aerosols, masks and RIVM - 9336
Samenvatting van het artikel

This article seeks to inform you about the risk of being infected with Covid-19 with the aim to able to live as normal a life as possible. Factors discussed are your mortality rate, your risk of getting infected, points of attention per situation such as touching surfaces, indoor versus outdoor, roommates versus visitors, and visiting others.

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Prevent contamination and live as normal as possible

Based on this information you can determine for yourself what you can or want to do, in relation to the risk of being infected with Covid-19. The aim is to be able to live as normal as possible. The basis is based on the latest findings with an important role for the aerosols and you will find here.

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Table of contents:

(Click to go to that section)

1. My mortality rate

It is important to realize how small the risk is of dying from Covid-19. Once you become infected, your age, gender and health are important determinants of your chances of survival.

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Men have a higher risk of dying in each age group than women. Most of those who die of Covid-19 had other health problems.

2. My risk to get infected

You can only be infected by someone who is contagious at the time. If there is hardly anyone in the area where you are who is contagious at that moment, the chance that you will be infected is very small.

At this moment (July 12th) there is hardly anyone in the Netherlands who can infect others. That may be different in other countries. It could also be different in the Netherlands in the coming months.  On the basis of this table you will get a feeling of that risk.

You can use two types of figures. These are figures that are published by the national organizations (RIVM/CDCs) and can be found on the internet. They can often also be found per province or region:

  1. The current percentage of infected people found during tests.
  2. The most recent number of infected people found in 1 day per 1 million inhabitants.

Both figures depend on the testing policy in the country/region. The more tests are carried out, the more infected people are found. Therefore A is a somewhat better indication than B.

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Around 9 July the figures in the Netherlands were A: 0.45% and B: 2.5.

3. Points of attention per situation

On the basis of this overview per situation you can determine for yourself what you can and want to do to prevent contamination. The following is actually only important if the risk factor in the region/country is yellow, orange or red.

But you can make your own choices based on your own situation and feelings.  However, you must adhere to the measures taken by the authorities.

A. By touching surfaces

There is more and more evidence that the chance of getting infected by touching a surface is very small.

B. Outside

  • Chance of being infected is very small.
  • Only be cautious if you are talking face to face to someone within 1 meter of each other (this is very different from consistently keeping a 1.5 meter distance, as RIVM and the government demand).

C. In confined spaces with (many) people you don’t see on a daily basis

  • There should be a lot of fresh air (ventilation) and/or an air humidity level of more than 45% at 20 degrees Celsius.
  • An HVAC system that lets in a lot of fresh air.  If not, the system must remove virus particles via filters and/or control devices (Corona proof). This also applies to air conditioners in summer (when the risk level is not green).
  • If this is not possible, you may only stay in the room for a short time or those present must wear face masks. This also includes public transport.
  • In these areas it is unwise to talk to someone face to face at less than 1 meter distance. (This is very different from always keeping 1.5 meters distance from each other).
  • If a room has an HVAC system that is Corona proof (according to Deltaplan Ventilation) then you run very little risk and if the risk colors are yellow or higher then it is better not to talk to each other face to face in this room at a distance of 1 meter.

In places where there is a lot of shouting, singing, speaking loudly or strenuous effort, the above measures should be carried out to a greater extent because the risks are greater.

D. At home with roommates you’re pretty sure aren’t contagious

  • No measures are necessary

E. At home with a (possibly) infectious visitor

  • Provide fresh air, ventilation and/or bring the humidity at 20 degrees to at least 45%.
  • Keep a distance of at least 1 meter.
  • Do not talk to each other face to face at a short distance
  • If you want to be together for a longer period of time and you don’t feel safe, let the visitor(s) wear mouth protection.

F. At home and one of the housemates is (possibly) contagious

  • Wear face masks in each other’s proximity. If that is too heavy for the patient, make sure the others do.
  • If you cannot wear a mouth mask, make sure that you keep a minimum distance of 1 meter, do not talk face to face with each other and only stay in the same room for a short time.
  • Provide ventilation in the rooms where the patient is present/wash for a while.
  • Provide air humidity of at least 45% at a temperature of 20 degrees in the rooms where the patient is and others can/must be.
  • Do not stay too long in the same room with the potential patient.

G. Visiting others

  • Do what you want others to do in your home and respect the wishes of the residents.

 Stay healthy and live your life

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