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How easily can COVID-19 spread in an elevator? Otis is finding out

August 27, 2020

Otis Worldwide (NYSE:OTIS) is commissioning a study into elevator airflow, how it affects the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus among passengers, and how to mitigate those risks through science-based safety protocols.

The study will be led by Dr. Qingyan (Yan) Chen, the James G. Dwyer Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue, who is widely recognized for his research into the spread of infectious disease through indoor air systems – and how to prevent it.

“My team and I are looking forward to conducting this study to help the industry and riding public better understand the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission in an elevator environment as compared to other everyday activities, like shopping at a grocery store or eating at a restaurant,” said Dr. Chen. “Using state-of-the-art research techniques, we will also be able to scientifically validate preferred methods of mitigating passenger risks associated with the virus.”

Other industries are also exploring similar solutions. American Airlines just received approval from the EPA to use a surface coating that kills coronavirus for up to seven days.

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