Published on Mon Feb 08 2021

Outdoor transmission of COVID-19: Analysis of windspeed

Clouston, S., Morozova, O., Meliker, J.

Cases were very high in the initial wave but diminished quickly once lockdown procedures were enacted. Warm days with windspeed <5.5 MPH had increased COVID-19 incidence (aIRR=1.50, 95% C.I.].

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Abstract

BackgroundTo examine whether outdoor exposures may contribute to the COVID-19 epidemic, we hypothesized that slower outdoor windspeed is associated with increased risk of transmission when individuals socialize outside. MethodsDaily COVID-19 incidence reported between 3/16/2020-12/31/2020 was the outcome. Average windspeed and maximal daily temperature were derived from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Negative binomial regression was used to model incidence, adjusting for susceptible population size. ResultsCases were very high in the initial wave but diminished quickly once lockdown procedures were enacted. Unadjusted and multivariable-adjusted analyses revealed that warmer days with windspeed <5.5 MPH had increased COVID-19 incidence (aIRR=1.50, 95% C.I.=[1.25-1.81], P<0.001) as compared to days with average windspeed [≥]5.5 MPH. ConclusionThis study suggests that outdoor transmission of COVID-19 may occur by noting that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in the summer was highest on days when wind was reduced.