Q: How exactly does COVID-19 spread? Should I close my doors and windows?

A: COVID-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus, is so new that researchers are still working to establish basic facts about both. But experts believe the virus is primarily infecting people via person-to-person contact. According to the CDC, the virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another, within about 6 feet, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may also be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.

“Generally, we don’t think that aerosol transmission is a big threat, and it’s especially not the case in your home,” said James LeDuc, the director of the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch and an expert on viruses.

Although you are unlikely to get infected via aerosol transmission, the virus can spread via intimate contact, LeDuc said. If someone in your household is infected with COVID-19, they should isolate themselves within your home and you should limit contact with them as much as possible, LeDuc said.

Ciara McCarthy covers public health for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. You can reach her at or at 580-6597 or on Twitter at @mccarthy_ciara. To support local journalism at the Advocate through Report for America, go to

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Health Reporter

Ciara McCarthy covers public health for the Advocate as a Report for America corps member. She reports on insurance, the cost of health care, local hospitals, and more. Questions, tips, or ideas? Contact: or call 361-580-6597.

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