Why care for indoor air?

Let’s learn from real Corona outbreaks!

corona outbreak, virus

Over a year has passed since we started hearing the word Corona associated with words like outbreaks and virus for the first time. And what a year we’re leaving behinds us. It has been characterised by negative news, and emotions that have been going back and forth between hope and dispair.

But we can also see that when something feels relevant enough, close to ourselves, and at the same time urgent, we are capable of great and rapid change. And we can learn so much about minimising virus spread from the past year with Corona.

Three real Corona outbreaks to learn from

The vaccine is here and we can all start seeing light in the tunnel. But we need to hang in there some time still, before the sigh of relief. At the innovation hub we think it’s important to keep learning, stay informed, and to share our insights. That’s why we have chosen to share parts of an analysis published in the digital version of El País1, Spain’s most read newspaper.

We’re going to take a closer look at three different every day situations, and at the same time remind about the importance of viral control measures. Click on the links below to get to the different case presentations.


Office in Seoul, Sydkorea


Restaurant in Guangzhou, China


Bus in Zhejiang, China

Measures to minimize virus spread

What these three Corona outbreaks have in common is that the risk of infection is highest in indoor spaces. In any setting in which people are together for a long period of time, these measures should be taken, prioritising those that are most effective at protecting us from the risk of infection:

2 m distance
Physical distance of 2 meters
face mask
Use face masks in environments where crowds may occur. Using a face mask can have a positive effect on preventing infected people from spreading the infection via exhaled air
avoid background noise, closeness
Avoid background noise and -music so people don’t have to get to close and raise their voice and expel more droplets as they speak.
In workplaces, restaurants or other similar indoor environments, increase the distance between furniture and ensure that people keep their distance. Avoid large gatherings of employees such as meetings, cafeteria, locker rooms, etc.
If employees are to sit together, make sure that the workplaces are designed in a zig-zag pattern with at least 2 meters in between.
good ventilation
Open windows to let in fresh air, even if it makes people feel uncomfortably hot or cold. If there is a ventilation system, make sure that the ventilation is on. WHO, ECDC and others recommend that ventilation be started two hours before and two hours after the working day for pollutants and infectious agents to be ventilated out. If you have ventilation, always use air filters and clean them regularly.
avoid recirculation

Avoid recirculation of the air.
wash hands
Maintain good hand hygiene.

If you want to deep dive in each case, click on the links above. You can also read more about Corona, spread of infection, virus and particles i andra inlägg på vår blogg.

And if you thinkg we missed something or got something wrong we are always happy to get feedback. Get in touch so we can have a digital Swedish fika! 😊


  1. El País, https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-10-28/a-room-a-bar-and-a-class-how-the-coronavirus-is-spread-through-the-air.html, https://english.elpais.com/spanish_news/2020-06-17/an-analysis-of-three-covid-19-outbreaks-how-they-happened-and-how-they-can-be-avoided.html, Authors: Javier Salas (javier@esmateria.com), Mariano Zafra
  2. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Guangzhou and Hangzhou, The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, the Spanish National Research Council’s Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Studies (IDAEA-CSIC), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, International Laboratory for Air Quality & Health (WHO, Queensland), and the government of South Korea.

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