Updated: Mar 7
In January 2021, CBC released an article called “Here's what we know about outdoor transmission of COVID-19 during winter”. It is a great piece on some of the factors that affect outdoor transmission of the covid virus. I’ve linked to the original article and included some highlights below.
This, by no means, suggests that we can let down our guard outdoors, but that the risk is much less for outdoor exercise.
CBC talked with “Peter Juni, who is the scientific director of the COVID-19 science advisory table of Ontario” about factors like ventilation and movement that make outdoor activities less risky. In the interview with Juni he says:
“The biggest reason transmission increases in the winter, he says, is because people spend more time interacting indoors.”
Later in the article,
“Juni says when it comes to outdoor transmission, ventilation is the single most important factor.
'If the air is less humid, these particles stay longer airborne and this is a problem inside because you don't have good ventilation,' he said. 'However, outside what happens is any potential viral particles that are dissolved into aerosols, they get literally blown away.'
Juni says if outdoor transmission was a serious concern we would have seen infections spike after the Black Lives Matter protests last summer.”
CBC also talked to “Michael Brauer, a professor at the University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health” and
“Both Juni and Brauer say no one should be discouraged from exercising outdoors — most outdoor activities are safe, and it's usually the events leading up to exercise that are more likely to allow for transmission.”
This means as a run club, we need to continue to be vigilant about keeping our distance before and after our runs. This is another reason that the Province of BC has limited social gatherings after exercise.
The article references
“One of the studies published last April shows that out of 7,000 cases of coronavirus transmission in China, just two occurred outdoors. However, the authors noted that their study was limited to outbreaks in China where very strict lockdown measures were implemented.”
At the end, the journalist writes that
“Overall, Juni says while outdoor gatherings are likely safe, it's easy for people to slip up and forget to distance.”
I’ve taken some brief highlights of the article. It is a quick read and worth checking out. Here is a link to the original article.