Dispersion of sneeze droplets in a meat facility indoor environment - Without partitions. Academic Article uri icon


  • Spreading patterns of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) showed that infected and asymptotic carriers both played critical role in escalating transmission of virus leading to global pandemic. Indoor environments of restaurants, classrooms, hospitals, offices, large assemblies, and industrial installations are susceptible to virus outbreak. Industrial facilities such as fabrication rooms of meat processing plants, which are laden with moisture and fat in indoor air are the most sensitive spaces. Fabrication room workers standing next to each other are exposed to the risk of long-range viral droplets transmission within the facility. An asymptomatic carrier may transmit the virus unintentionally to fellow workers through sporadic sneezing leading to community spread. A novel Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model of a fabrication room with typical interior (stationary objects) was prepared and investigated. Study was conducted to identify indoor airflow patterns, droplets spreading patterns, leading droplets removal mechanism, locations causing maximum spread of droplets, and infection index for workers along with stationary objects in reference to seven sneeze locations covering the entire room. The role of condensers, exhaust fans and leakage of indoor air through large and small openings to other rooms was investigated. This comprehensive study presents flow scenarios in the facility and helps identify locations that are potentially at lower or higher risk for exposure to COVID-19. The results presented in this study are suitable for future engineering analyses aimed at redesigning public spaces and common areas to minimize the spread of aerosols and droplets that may contain pathogens.

published proceedings

  • Environ Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Kumar, S., Klassen, M., Klassen, D., Hardin, R., & King, M. D.

complete list of authors

  • Kumar, Sunil||Klassen, Mark||Klassen, David||Hardin, Robert||King, Maria D

publication date

  • July 2023