I had to go to the doctor’s office yesterday (booster shot for an old vaccine). Should I ask if there are stairs up to the 3rd floor? I wondered for a moment, but then stepped into the empty elevator.
he New York Times about a hypothetical situation where infected Person A rides up to Floor 10 for 30 seconds. No mask, coughs and talks on a cellphone, exhaling tiny droplets that contain the virus. Some droplets fall to the ground, some hit the sides of the elevator, and some float in the air.
A lot depends on the elevator size & design, and if it has air-conditioning, but let’s say the door opens for 10 seconds, and goes back down to pick up Person B. Person A might have drawn out enough air when upon exiting, to dilute his germs and viruses in the air by 50%. The same might happen again when Person B steps in, so let’s say 25% remains, that Person B is exposed to.
Experts don’t know for sure, but generally do not believe that these airborne particles in empty elevators pose a significant real-life risk when it comes to coronavirus. They note that even when a person with Covid-19 is living in close quarters with other members of the household, the infection rate has been estimated at only about 10 to 20 percent. (For reference: measles is a true airborne disease, highly, highly contagious, with an infection rate of 75 to 90 percent).