Learning about how COVID-19 spreads and the factors that can increase or decrease that risk can help you make informed choices. Length of Time, Coughing/Heavy Breathing, Symptoms, & Masks are factors to consider for lower or increased risk of transmission.
Length of Exposure:
Longer exposure time increases the risk of transmission. For example, contact longer than 15 minutes is more likely to result in transmission than two minutes of contact.
Shorter exposure time = Lower risk
Medium exposure time = Moderate risk
Longer exposure time = Higher risk
Activities like coughing, singing, shouting, or breathing heavily due to exertion increase the risk of transmission.
Less coughing and heavy breathing = Lower risk
Moderate coughing and heavy breathing = Moderate risk
Elevated coughing and heavy breathing = Higher risk
If one person was wearing a mask, the risk of transmission is decreased, and if both people were wearing masks, the risk is substantially decreased. Risk is also lower if the mask or respirator is a type that offers greater protection.
Both masked = Lower risk
Only one masked = Moderate risk
Neither masked = Higher risk
Being around people who are symptomatic increases the risk of transmission.
No symptoms = Lower risk
Symptoms = Higher risk
For more information, please visit: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/risks-exposure.html