Here’s what we know. Lying in the sun or a tanning bed can lead to age spots, precancerous skin growths, and skin cancer. There’s no compelling evidence that the sun or tanning beds can kill the coronavirus in people. This is what the science shows.
UVC rays can slow the coronavirus; however, the sun's UVC rays cannot penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere. This means that you cannot get UVC rays from sunlight.
The sun emits different types of UV rays, and each affects us differently.
UVA and UVB rays: Sunlight contains both UVA and UVB rays, which reach the Earth’s surface. Overexposure to these rays can cause:
Premature skin aging, including age spots and wrinkles
Skin cancer, including melanoma, the most serious form
Tanning beds and other indoor tanning equipment also emit UVA and UVB rays. Some might even emit stronger UVA and UVB rays than those from the sun.
UVC rays: The sun also emits UVC rays, which cannot reach the Earth’s surface. The Earth’s atmosphere blocks the sun’s UVC rays.
UVC rays harm all forms of life, including the coronavirus. Since UVC rays are so harmful, workers use man-made UVC rays to disinfect hospital rooms and subway trains. While UVC machines disinfect rooms and equipment, people must stay outside the room or other area while it is being sanitized in order to stay safe.
Sunlight, tanning beds may increase your risk of coronavirus infection
While there’s no evidence that sunlight or indoor tanning can kill the coronavirus, spending time in a tanning bed or at a crowded beach, pool, or park can expose you to the coronavirus. Here’s how:
Just one infected person can spread the coronavirus to many people when people aren’t social distancing or wearing a face mask.
It’s a known fact that too much unprotected UV exposure from the sun’s UV rays can weaken your immune system. A weakened immune system makes it harder for your body to fight off a coronavirus infection.
You can pick up the coronavirus when you touch a surface, such as a tanning bed, doorknob, or reception desk, that hasn’t been disinfected. If you then touch your face, you can infect yourself.
UVC devices sold for at-home use remain untested
If you’re looking for a UVC product to disinfect your home, you’ll find plenty of options. Products include UVC wands sold to disinfect groceries and countertops.
While UVC products sold for at-home use come with claims that they’re effective against bacteria, viruses, and other germs, consumers have no idea how much UVC light, if any, a device emits. That’s a problem.
To disinfect, you need strong UVC rays. The amount of UVC needed to disinfect tends to be bright enough to damage your eyes. That’s why workers step outside a hospital room or subway train when using UVC light to disinfect.
We also know that companies have been making false claims about UVC devices for years. In 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined two companies for making false claims. In its advertising, one company claimed that its UVC device could kill foot fungus. The other company advertised that its device could kill E. Coli and salmonella. Neither company could prove its claim. Such claims put your health and safety at risk.
How to reduce your risk of getting the coronavirus
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us that the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. To do this, the CDC recommends that you:
Wear a cloth face mask that covers your mouth and nose. Cloth face masks are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the coronavirus. Wear one when you're in a public setting around people who don’t live in your household, especially when it may be difficult for you to stay six feet apart.
Social distance, which means staying at least 6 feet from others. This helps you avoid close contact with people who are sick or not part of your household.
Wash your hands often.
Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as tables, doorknobs, and light switches.
“Clean” and “disinfect” have different meanings: To clean, according to the CDC, means you use detergent (or soap) and water to wash a dirty surface. After you clean, then you disinfect. To disinfect, use a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered disinfectant.
Is your disinfectant effective against the coronavirus?
To find out whether a disinfectant is effective against the coronavirus:
1. Locate the EP Reg. No. on the disinfectant.
2. Once you have this number, go to this EPA webpage and click on the link “Search by EPA registration number.”
3. Enter the product’s EPA Reg. No. in the search box. This will tell you whether the disinfectant meets the criteria set by the EPA for disinfecting the coronavirus and how long you should leave the disinfectant on the surface.
Protect your health by getting trusted information
During this time of great uncertainty, it may feel challenging to know what to do. Getting your facts from trusted sources, such as doctors and government agencies, can help.
Dermatologists want to help you protect your health and reduce your risk of skin cancer. You can do this by protecting your skin from the sun and staying out of tanning beds. Learn more about how to reduce your skin cancer risk at: Prevent skin cancer
4,764 new cases as NPHET considers mask proposals
Updated / Thursday, 25 Nov 2021 19:36
The National Public Health Emergency Team is expected to consider proposals around mask wearing at outdoor events and possibly in primary schools
The Department of Health has been notified of a further 4,764 cases of Covid-19.
The number of people being treated for the virus in hospital now stands at 598, a reduction of 13 since yesterday.
Of those in hospital, 126 people are being treated in intensive care, which is down six since yesterday.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: "Incidence of Covid-19 remains concerningly high, with 62,401 cases reported in the last 14 days.
"We need to continue to make every effort we can to drive down incidence of disease and break the chains of transmission.
"Covid-19 spreads when an infected person is in close proximity to other people. The best way we can stop Covid spreading to the people we meet is by meeting fewer people and avoiding crowds."
In Northern Ireland, there were 1,549 new infections and five further Covid-related deaths reported today.
The latest figures come as the National Public Health Emergency Team is expected to consider proposals around mask wearing at outdoor events and possibly in primary schools.
One NPHET member has said avoiding lockdown would be the right way to go but that the situation has to be watched very closely.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, President of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland Professor Mary Horgan said it may be time to consider the use of masks in primary schools.
Prof Horgan said the incidence of infection among primary school children has been high over the last few months and that this is probably because the group is unvaccinated and do not use masks, although she acknowledged it is difficult for younger children to wear masks.
Prof Horgan said she hopes another lockdown can be avoided, adding there are "loads of tools" that need to be effectively used in order to achieve this.
"Avoid lockdown at all costs would be the right way to go at this point in time, but it's always a bit uncertain and unpredictable," she said.
The situation is hard for the public as they continue to step up to the plate, she said, and the demand for testing is frustrating, particularly as so many people are experiencing respiratory diseases that have symptoms that mimic Covid-19.
The Vice-President of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association said that in order to make schools as low risk as possible for infection of Covid-19, everything must be done - including vaccination and the wearing of masks for the short term.
Dr Gabrielle Colleran said that although many people do not the like the concept of children wearing masks, the rates of spread are currently so high that the practice should be considered for a few weeks in order to keep schools open.
He told the annual conference of the Private Hospitals Association, that as of Tuesday this week, 630,000 boosters had been administered.
The booster programme for those in long-term care and the over 80s has been substantially completed.
The minister also said that half of healthcare workers and half of the over 70s have now had their booster vaccines and he reiterated that healthcare workers can go to their pharmacies to receive their boosters.
He told the conference that regarding critical care, bed capacity would be increased to 340 beds by the end of 2022, an increase of 34%. Further bed capacity would be rolled out in a number of hospitals including Beaumont, St James's, The Mater and Cork University Hospital.
Separately, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that Covid-19 case numbers are starting to plateau, but added that he would like to see them fall in the run up to Christmas.
Restrictions may be needed but should be 'avoided' - Tánaiste
Updated / Thursday, 25 Nov 2021 14:29
[IMG alt="Leo Varadkar said it would be a 'big mistake' to impose a whole set of new restrictions in the coming days (File image:
Leo Varadkar said it would be a 'big mistake' to impose a whole set of new restrictions in the coming days (File image: RollingNews.ie) By Aisling Kenny
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that Covid-19 case numbers are starting to plateau, but added that he would like to see them fall in the run up to Christmas.
Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne programme, Mr Varadkar said it would be a "big mistake" to impose a whole set of new restrictions in the coming days to find out that the country has "turned a corner anyway".
He said more restrictions may be needed coming into the Christmas period, but the Government would try to avoid a full lockdown.
Mr Varadkar also said he would not speculate about possible restrictions at this stage.
"I think we may need more restrictions heading into the Christmas period but I don't think we need to be fatalistic about a return to any form of lockdown or even a 'lockdown light', and I think we should try to avoid that," he said.
He warned that the pandemic is not under control and high levels of the virus are circulating in the community and described the situation in ICUs as "very tight and very worrying".
"We would like to see case numbers fall," he said. "We would like to go into Christmas in a better place than we are now with the number of people in hospital and cases falling."
Mr Varadkar said that in the last couple of weeks he has detected a certain degree of fatigue and hopelessness but he said people should have hope and "keep the faith".
He added that the changes people have made in the past couple of weeks are making a difference, and said the third dose of the vaccine is making a difference and nursing homes are in a much better place.