Can Window Fans Spread Coronavirus?

Can Window Fans Spread Coronavirus?
In our series "What's the Risk?" experts weigh in on what risks different scenarios pose for transmitting COVID-19.

When it comes to getting sick with COVID-19, you might be thinking about this, and we have too. Joe Plaia asks:

"Can window fans spread coronavirus? If they can, what's the risk?"

We asked the experts: Dr. Irfan N. Hafiz, an infectious disease physician and Northwest Region chief medical officer for Northwestern Medicine; Katie Cary, vice president of infection prevention for HCA Continental Division; and Dr. Jasmine Marcelin, an infectious disease specialist at Nebraska Medicine.

Their take: Contracting COVID-19 from a window fan is low risk. 

"Having your windows open is not risky at all. It's good to get fresh air. It's good to be able to get outside. I definitely would not say you should not have a fan," Cary said.

"There's not a lot of evidence that transmission occurs that way. The whole idea of having air exchanges and air circulation is a good thing, especially with the outdoors. And that helps dilute anything out there and gets the fresh air in. And that's always a preferred way to exchange the air," Hafiz said.


"A fan that is blowing air from the outside inside the house is not going to increase the risk of coronavirus unless somebody is outside of the fan and blowing into the fan. That's kind of the only way that I can see that happening," Marcelin said. 

If you have a question about your risk, send us a video to You can see answers to other questions here