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Yale researchers develop a wearable device to measure a person's exposure to coronavirus

A Fresh Air Clip.
Yale School of Public Health Communications
A Fresh Air Clip.

Researchers at the Yale School of Public Health say they have created a small, wearable device that can measure the amount of COVID-19 a person has been exposed to.

They call it the Fresh Air Clip. Its creators hope it could be used to help protect high-risk workers like medical staff or restaurant servers.

It might be used as a screening tool, to quickly determine who is getting most exposed to the virus.

The device captures airborne particles of coronavirus that land on its surface.

The concentration of the virus can later be measured.

“The Fresh Air Clips are easy-to-use, non-invasive, and low-cost,” said the clip’s creator, Professor Krystal Godri Pollitt. “These features make it easier to scale-up this kind of exposure monitoring for COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses so that the clips can be made available across larger groups of workers in high-risk jobs such as restaurant servers, health care workers, and teachers.”

As they were testing the device, Yale researchers had sixty-two volunteers wear them.

The virus turned up on five of those devices. Four of them were restaurant servers, and one was a homeless shelter staffer.

Matt Dwyer is an editor, reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department. He produces local news during All Things Considered.

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