Researchers at the University of Florida collected the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19 from the air within a car driven for 15 minutes by a patient confirmed to have the illness. The driver had minimal symptoms, without a cough, and was not wearing a face mask during the drive.
Senior author J. Glenn Morris, Jr., M.D., M.P.H & T.M., who directs UF’s Emerging Pathogens Institute, says the findings underscore the importance of wearing a mask when using public transportation or sharing a vehicle with another person. Their work is currently posted on the medRxiv preprint server and is publicly available. (Editor’s note, 5/3/21: since this article originally posted, this work was peer-reviewed and published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.)