Yale researchers create clip that detects COVID-19 exposure

Coronavirus Vaccine

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Researchers at Yale University have developed a small clip that detects whether you have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

It’s called the Fresh Air Clip and it was created by Krystal Pollitt, an assistant professor of epidemiology and chemical and environmental engineering at Yale.

Post-doctoral associate Dong Gao at the Yale School of Public Health said the clip was originally developed a few years ago to measure pollutants in the air, but when the pandemic arrived, the device’s developers quickly realized they could also use it to measure particles of COVID-19.

A film inside the clip collects the particles and it can take as little as a day to get your results.

“It’s really small and lightweight so everybody can carry it,” Gao said.

Researchers conducted a study of people wearing the clip in settings such as health care facilities, homeless shelters, and restaurants.

“Sixty-two of these Fresh Air Clips were returned and analyzed, five of which came back positive for SARS-CoV-2, predominantly among restaurant settings,” said Darryl Angel, a Ph.D. candidate in Yale’s Department of Environmental Engineering and part of the team that has been studying the Fresh Air Clip.

Right now, researchers are still studying the clip, but the hope is to make it available to the public in the future.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and small particles containing the virus.

“These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses or mouths,” the CDC states. “In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch.”

The CDC recommends wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth, and social distancing, since people within 6 feet of an infected person are most likely to get infected.

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