coronavirus chicago

Can Sunlight Kill the Coronavirus? Chicago’s Top Doctor Weighs In

With social distancing and handwashing, outdoor activities probably have less of a transmission risk than indoor ones, Chicago's top health official said

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Chicago's top doctor on Friday weighed in on whether sunlight can kill the coronavirus — a suggestion repeated by President Trump late last month.

On April 23, Bill Bryan, who leads the Department of Homeland Security's science and technology division, gave a presentation at the White House on research that shows the virus doesn't live as long in warmer and more humid temperatures.

Bryan said, "The virus dies quickest in sunlight," leaving Trump to wonder whether you could bring the light "inside the body" and suggest the "injection" of disinfectant to beat coronavirus.

At a news conference with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Friday, Chicago's health commissioner, Dr. Allison Arwady, said sunlight doesn't eliminate the risk of the coronavirus altogether.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot revealed her five-phased plan for reopening Chicago during coronavirus.

"You know, it has the ability to make the virus not last as long, for example," she said. "It does not make it that being outdoors has no risk at all."

Dr. Arwady added that with the appropriate social distancing and handwashing, outdoor activities probably have less of a transmission risk than indoor ones.

As Mayor Lightfoot considers allowing large-scale outdoor events for at least a portion of the summer, Dr. Arwady said it's important to bring science into the specifics of the plans.

"But we've got to be coming down on the other side of this (the pandemic) before we can be seriously thinking about moving in that way," Dr. Arwady stated.

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