New calculator to determine coronavirus presence on surfaces, in air

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(WGNO) — There is a new online tool to help determine the amount of coronavirus present on surfaces and in the air.

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate developed the tool to allow people to enter weather conditions in their area to determine the risk of coming into contact with the coronavirus.

Acting Undersecretary William Bryan sat down with sister station WGNO’s Chief Meteorologist Hank Allen to discuss the new technology and how it was developed. Bryan also talked about the DHS Science and Technology PANTHR initiative and efforts to research the virus.

The tool has two calculators. One determines surface decay and another for airborne decay.

“It’s an incredible tool. It’s a tool that can be used by citizens in disinfecting your own home,” Bryan said. “It can also be used by business owners and operators.”

Bryan said heat and humidity are favorable ingredients for the “rapid decay” of the virus in the air and on surfaces outdoors.

“The virus does not like hot, humid, sunny conditions,” Bryan said. “Certainly, we’re entering that season now that summer is approaching. It’s on us right now as we speak. So the conditions that we’re facing right now are really good for us to get a handle on the spread of the virus, the transmission of the virus.”

Bryan said his unit’s efforts, including the tool, is just a small piece in the bigger puzzle in fighting the virus.

“If you look at the rate of transmission of the virus, it’s like a chain,” he said. “And we’ve been able to identify some weak links in that chain.”

Below is the full unedited interview with Hank and William Bryan.


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