Fact Finders Update: Will southern Arizona’s warmer weather slow the spread of COVID-19?

Fact Finders: Warmer weather and COVID-19

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With 80-degree temperatures in the forecast for southern Arizona, some are wondering if the warm weather will help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The KOLD News 13 Fact Finders received several questions related to the weather and the virus, including this one:

“Was said this virus doesn’t like heat was just a myth if not how high does are temperature outside have to get and how long do we have to stay at that temp? Will it shorten our stay home notice?”

The answer on April 2 was researchers didn’t know just yet. This week, scientists warned the Trump administration the warmer weather may not lessen the spread of coronavirus.

In a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, experts point to data that shows the virus has already spread rapidly in countries currently in the middle of summer, like Australia. Scientists anticipate being able to review more relevant data in the coming weeks.

They will be looking at surface survival of the virus under different levels of humidity and survival with exposure to UV radiation.

According to the CDC, it is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said “generally, coronaviruses survive for shorter periods of time at higher temperatures and higher humidity than in cooler or dryer environments.” At the time, there was no direct data for COVID-19, nor does the CDC have direct data for a temperature-based cutoff for inactivation.

“Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months. At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.”

You can submit a question for the KOLD News 13 Fact Finders here.

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