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Poor air quality plagues the Bay Area

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – “Certainly every year when we see wildfires, we see more people coming in with respiratory complaints,” Stephanie Christenson, assistant professor of medicine at UCSF, said. 

Bay Area Air Quality Management District is extending the Spare The Air Alert through Wednesday, marking 30 consecutive days of alerts in the Bay Area.

The region’s previous record for consecutive Spare The Air Alert days was 13 during the 2018 Camp Fire.

San Jose State University’s campus is closed today and has been closed since Friday because of poor air quality. 

Doctors we spoke to today say to stay inside if you can and if you have to go out, make sure you are wearing a mask.

“It’s longer and worse than I have ever seen in my life time actually,” Dr. Schuman Tam said.

Air quality in the Bay Area is expected to stay at unhealthy levels throughout the week and while San Jose State University’s campus is closed, many people are still walking around.

“The longer you are out there the worse exposure you have the more particulate matter that can get lodged deeply in your lungs,” Professor Christenson said. 

Because of the poor air quality, more people are being told to stay inside and if they have to go out — to wear a mask.

These are the same recommendations made for reducing the spread of the coronavirus so is it possible we may see a decrease in the spread of COVID-19?

“Many people are wearing masks… any masks of course n95 work better but the level of exposure is less because they are wearing masks. People are staying indoors because of COVID,” Dr. Tam said. 

Contra Costa County health officers say it’s too soon to tell if they’ll see a decrease in COVID numbers because of the amount of people staying indoors and wearing masks because of the smoke but they do say that whenever people limit activities outside of their home they do reduce their risk of getting coronavirus.

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