Career Development : Calendar

Covering airborne transmission and COVID-19: What to know



  • Recorded webcast (For a better experience, choose the Adobe Connect app instead of your browser to view the webcast.)


Feb. 26, 2021, 12:30-1:30 p.m. ET

At the very beginning of the pandemic, there was lots of uncertainty about the primary transmission route of COVID-19. Increasingly, the evidence is showing the virus spreads through the air.

Why did it take scientists so long to determine this? What do we know now about airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and is it possible to create indoor environments so that schools and businesses can be open safely? How should journalists cover this aspect of the story as President Biden is pushing to reopen schools for in-person learning in March and many state governors are allowing businesses to increase the number of people permitted indoors at the same time?

Hear from two experts on this topic: one an expert on how infectious diseases spread in the air, and the other an infectious disease epidemiologist and hospital preventionist.

  • Joseph Allen, D.Sc., M.P.H., associate professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

  • Saskia Popescu, Ph.D., assistant professor, infectious disease preventionist, George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government

  • Moderator: Bara Vaida, AHCJ topic leader/infectious diseases

Dr. Joseph G. Allen began his career conducting forensic health investigations of sick buildings in several hundred buildings across a diverse range of industries, including healthcare, biotechnology, education, commercial office real estate and manufacturing. At Harvard, Dr. Allen directs the Healthy Buildings program, where he created "The 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building." He is also the faculty advisor to the Harvard Healthier Building Materials Academy. He works with Fortune 100 companies on implementing Healthy Building strategies in their global portfolios and presents internationally on the topic of Healthy Buildings.

Popescu is an experienced infectious disease epidemiologist and infection preventionist with a strong background in enhancing healthcare biopreparedness, infectious disease threats, pandemic preparedness/response, project management, translation of complex issues into frontline applications, and disease surveillance. She is an assistant professor within the biodefense graduate program at George Mason University, serving as a consultant with the World Health Organization and helping to lead the Netflix infection prevention efforts for return to production work. She is also an affiliate of the Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security.

Joseph Allen

Saskia Popescu

Bara Vaida