Research News Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins Medicine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Johns Hopkins Medicine Media Relations is focused on disseminating current, accurate and useful information to the public via the media. As part of that effort, we are distributing our “COVID-19 Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins” every other Wednesday.

Flushing a Public Toilet? Don’t Linger, Because Aerosolized Droplets Do

Because COVID-19 has been detected in urine and stool samples, public restrooms can be cause for concern. Researchers measured droplets generated from flushing a toilet and a urinal in a public restroom and found a substantial increase in the measured aerosol levels in the ambient environment with the total number of droplets generated in each flushing test ranging up to the tens of thousands. Due to their small size, these droplets can remain suspended for a long time.

Strategic Air Purifier Placement Reduces Virus Spread Within Music Classrooms

The University of Minnesota School of Music was concerned about one-on-one teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic and wondered if it should supplement its ventilation system with portable HEPA air purifiers. So, school officials reached out to Suo Yang, a professor within the College of Science and Engineering, and his team to figure it out. In Physics of Fluids, Yang and the researchers describe their work to predict how virus particles spread within a music classroom.

Air Purifiers May Do More Harm Than Good in Confined Spaces with Airborne Viruses

The positions of air inlets and outlets in confined spaces, such as elevators, greatly affect airborne virus transmission. In Physics of Fluids, researchers show air purifiers may actually increase the spread. They use ultraviolet radiation to kill viruses and other microbes, but they also circulate air, sucking it in and exhausting cleaned air. This adds to overall circulation.