Researchers Say The Odds Of Catching COVID-19 On An Airplane Are Smaller Than You Think

New research is finding that flying during the pandemic might be safer than originally thought.

Experts are highlighting very few documented cases of in-flight transmission of coronavirus. Filtration systems on flights circulate air every 2 to 3 minutes with filters that capture over 99 percent of particles.

Arnold Barnett, a statistics professor at MIT, calculated the chances of someone catching COVID-19 on a short-haul flight with 3 seats on each side of the aircraft (planes like the Airbus 320 or Boeing’s 737).

Assuming everyone is wearing a mask and the flight is full, your chances of getting COVID-19 on a flight is 1 in 4,300.

If the middle seats are empty, the likelihood goes to 1 in 7,700.

Even so, Barnett says three things need to happen to get COVID-19 on a flight. There needs to be a passenger who is contagious onboard, that person’s mask would have to fail to contain the virus and the person has to be close enough to you in order to transmit coronavirus.

Danielle Tufano

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