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Will warmer weather slow down COVID-19?

Weather, climate change, sun, hot temperatures
Posted at 8:15 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 23:15:28-04

It's a question many of you have been asking: will warmer weather slow down the spread of coronavirus? There are still several uncertainties, but new research being done on COVID-19 suggests that it might be the case in certain areas.

New data from MIT researchers indicates COVID-19 is not spreading as efficiently in warmer and more humid environments.

In fact, 90% of infections have occurred in areas where temperatures are between 37°F-63°F and absolute humidity values range from 4-9 grams per cubic meter. Absolute humidity is how much moisture there is in the air, regardless of temperature. The virus outside of these areas is spreading at a slower rate, according to researchers.

Warmer air holds more moisture, and moisture plays an important role in virus transmissions. It weighs down viruses, which when exhaled, are covered by a microscopic layer of moisture. When humidity is high, the droplet won't evaporate, meaning it won't be hovering in the air for us to breathe in.

That being said, these studies have not been peer-reviewed and there is still little knowledge on COVID-19 since it is a novel, or new, virus to humans.

Also, the Centers for Disease Control states on its website that it is not yet known whether temperature and weather will impact the spread of COVID-19.

"At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when the weather becomes warmer. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing," states the CDC.

We've reached out to the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services, U of A, and ASU and are awaiting a response from their epidemiologists.

To read the study from MIT, click here.