Facebook Twitter

Speaking quietly can reduce the spread of COVID-19, new study says

A new study suggests speaking quietly can help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

SHARE Speaking quietly can reduce the spread of COVID-19, new study says
People, wearing facemasks, walk through the atrium during the reopening of the Mirage hotel and casino, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Las Vegas. The casino closed earlier this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

People wearing face masks walk through the atrium during the reopening of the Mirage Hotel and Casino, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Las Vegas. The casino closed earlier this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

John Locher, Associated Press

Speaking more quietly might help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus from person to person, according to a new study from the University of California, Davis.

The study said a reduction of six decibels in speech level can provide the same benefits as doubling a room’s ventilation, Reuters reports.

Speaking can eject microscopic droplets of the coronavirus, which can infect people.

But talking with an increase of 35 decibels in loudness — the difference between a whisper and a shout — can boost the emission by 50 times, according to Sky News.

Not all indoor environments are equal in terms of aerosol transmission risk. A crowded but quiet classroom is much less dangerous than an uncrowded karaoke bar where patrons are socially distanced but talking and singing over loud music. — William Ristenpart, lead researcher of the study, per Sky News.

Scientists said the findings suggest that “quiet rooms” in indoor spaces — like restaurants and hospitals — might help the disease from spreading inside of those rooms.

  • “The results suggest that public health authorities should consider implementing ‘quiet zones’ in high-risk indoor environments, such as hospital waiting rooms or dining facilities,” the study authors said, according to Reuters.