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COVID-19 three C’s: closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact

COVID-19-Three-Cs

While navigating through the pandemic health care providers have been implementing the three C’s aim to advise people on what to avoid to reduce the risk of catching or transmitting the virus.

These C’s stand for closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact. The Japanese government was the first to promote this protocol in March 2020. This article will help you learn more about how you can use the three C’s and how to implement them.

Closed spaces

Coronavirus transmission in closed spaces is the first among the three C’s of COVID-19 transmission. Transmission of droplets and aerosols is difficult to avoid in enclosed areas, such as gyms, restaurants, banks, and schools. 

First, it can be attributed to inadequate ventilation. Second, transmission occurs when there’s close proximity to asymptomatic individuals. Third, it can happen when there’s contact with contaminated surfaces.

If microscopic aerosols from virus-carrying droplets evaporate, there’s a risk of airborne transmission. Breathing, talking, and sneezing may seem like regular actions but they help the virus spread in closed spaces, increasing the likelihood of infecting other people.

Crowded Places

Group size isn’t the only culprit for having a high number of COVID-infected patients. In fact, there’s no specific number that would completely eliminate coronavirus transmission in crowded places.

There are several things to watch out for:

  • First, it can happen in a poorly-ventilated indoor area.
  • Second, this can worsen if people aren’t wearing face masks or any other face covering. If people aren’t observing social distancing rules, the infection rate increases.
  • Third, if healthy individuals mingle with asymptomatic patients, there’s always a risk of transmitting the virus.

If one is observing physical distancing rules in a crowded place, properly protected, and limiting interaction, there’s a lower risk of getting infected. However, this isn’t an excuse to congregate or gather together whenever you want.

Studies prove that the percentage of COVID-19 disease-infected individuals rises whenever there are large gatherings, whether indoors or outdoors. If there are more people per square foot area, especially if they’re spending prolonged periods of face-to-face contact, there’ll always be a risk of coronavirus transmission.

Close Contact

Some research concludes that there’s a lower risk of COVID-19 virus spread when people are observing a physical distance of one meter or more than when in a face-to-face setting of less than one meter.

Your protection against coronavirus infection increases with the use of any face covering. However, N95 face masks are considered to provide the highest potential protection as compared to disposable surgical masks. Cloth-based face masks may not provide the same quality of protection as N95 face masks but they’re still a better option than having no face covering at all. The use of eye goggles or face shields is also encouraged to further prevent coronavirus transmission through close contact settings.

Classifications of COVID-19 Three C’s

We have talked about COVID-19 three C’s: closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact. But what are the classifications of coronavirus transmission in these scenarios? 

According to research, the spread of COVID-19 disease has three categories: air transmission, droplet transmission, and hand transmission of pathogens.

Air transmission of coronavirus can happen:

  • when flushing in public toilets
  • when there’s fast-running tap water in restaurant kitchens and public sinks
  • during surgeries and medical procedures in hospitals

Droplet transmission of coronavirus is when the saliva, tear, blood, or other body secretions of an infected patient are sprayed directly or have come in direct contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth of another person.

Hand transmission of coronavirus refers to direct physical touch between a COVID-19 patient and a susceptible host. It can also happen when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes onto surfaces and then another individual unknowingly touches the contaminated surface.

Be cautious and use the three C’s

According to the World Health Organization, the risk is highest when those three C’s overlap. Even now that restrictions have been lifted, it’s still crucial to consider where you’re going and to avoid the three C’s as much as possible. As they say, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

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