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We’ve all heard about limits on the number of people in a shared space, but how can we estimate how safe a space really is? Sure, moving ten people into a room designed for fifty occupants may reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, but if some people in the room aren’t wearing masks, the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is likely to increase. Estimating COVID-19 transmission risk can’t be done with just one approximation about the volume of air in a room, the number of occupants, or whether people are wearing masks. Estimation requires a combination of these variables and more!

That’s why the Institute for Health in the Built Environment, the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science, and our other amazing collaborators have developed the Safe Air Spaces COVID-19 Aerosol Risk Estimator. With the current information we have on how COVID-19 spreads, this tool can help anyone estimate the relative risk of a space. This is the first version of the tool, and additional updates will be coming soon.

This risk estimation platform is an ongoing piece of collective scholarship between Dr. Richard Corsi, Dean of the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science at Portland State University, Dr. Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, Professor and director at the University of Oregon College of Design, Institute for Health in the Built Environment, and the Biology and the Built Environment Center, and Doctoral Candidate Hooman Parhizkar also at University of Oregon College of Design, IHBE and BioBE.  We acknowledge Dr. Charles Haas at Drexel University for his integral research on dose-response modelling and for his review.

To use the Safe Air Spaces COVID-19 Aerosol Risk Estimator, click here.