How easily is COVID-19 transmitted in indoor spaces?

Bottom Line:

A study reports that airflow direction in a restaurant was consistent with droplet transmission of COVID-19.


Lu, J. et al. COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with Air Conditioning in Restaurant, Guangzhou, China, 2020. Emerging Infectious Diseases (2020). DOI: 10.3201/eid2607.200764

Date Published:

2 April 2020


The study reports on three COVID-19 family clusters that were linked back to a restaurant exposure on January 24, 2020 in Guangzhou, China. Family A travelled from Wuhan on January 23 and ate lunch at the restaurant on January 24 at a table located in between families B and C. The tables were each separated by one metre. A total of 10 individuals developed COVID-19 from these three families (five from family A, three from B, and two from C). Contact tracing did not find other exposures for families B and C, aside from lunch next to family A, which lasted approximately one hour. To prevent the spread of the virus in restaurants, it is recommended that restaurants increase the distance between tables and improve ventilation.

Summary by: David Lee