News and Notes

Reproduction Rates for COVID-19 in Various Indoor Scenarios, including Schools

by | Feb 13, 2021 | Research

New modeling on transmission by aerosols compares the reproduction rates for different indoor scenarios, including schools with distancing and masks.

The upshot of the article is that by taking into account the ventilation standards for public places and the behavior (time spent, type of breathing) of their occupants, the number of people infected by a person with active COVID can be calculated.

For example, compared to a COVID active person in a grocery store, one in a high school at 50% capacity with masking will infect 3 times as many, will infect 5.8 times as many at 50% capacity without masking, and will infect 11.5 times as many without masking at 100% capacity.

The paper assumes the ventilation standards of German buildings, and is a sobering look at the tradeoffs between masking and not masking, as well as the increased risks of returning to full capacity in the schools.


The reproduction rate is average number of healthy people infected by a COVID-19 positive person. The result was featured in a Süddeutsche Zeitung article.


We have made available this information in translation on the SmartRestart website. (Link here)