Masks Still Important on to Wear on Public Transport

Masks Still Important on to Wear on Public Transport
Mask mandates on public transport are slowly being removed globally. Last week, New Zealand scrapped the requirements to wear masks on public transportation, and recent news suggests that countries such as Spain will soon follow.

However, despite dropping mandates worldwide, wearing a high-performing mask or respirator while using public transport is a good move. Many public transport environments, especially during peak hours, are considered high-risk and some of the worst locations for COVID transmission - especially when masks aren’t required.

In a recent article from New Zealand, a user took a carbon dioxide monitor into a different range of situations. Carbon dioxide concentrations have been found to be a good way to measure COVID-19 transmission risk through proxy. If you want to learn more about this proxy chance, we recommend reading this article on carbon dioxide and COVID.

It was found that a doubling in carbon dioxide concentrations above ambient (around 425ppm) represents double the chance of COVID-19 transmission. This means that at 800ppm, COVID-19 is approximately twice as likely to spread. At 1600, this chance quadruples.

In the article, the lowest CO2 reading on public transport was 884ppm. However, this reading was taken far from peak time, and the bus only had five passengers at the time. The worst reading was far more worrying. At 5737ppm, the chances of COVID-19 transmission are almost 16x as high as when carbon dioxide levels are ambient.

These readings show the importance of still wearing a mask on public transport. We are still unaware of many of the long-term impacts of COVID-19, and it’s important to take every step to reduce our chances of contracting the virus - within reason, of course. Wearing a mask is a simple way to reduce exposure and maintain good health.
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