Air contaminated with the COVID-19 virus might travel four times farther than the 6 feet the CDC asks we distance ourselves, according to a recent study.
The study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that under the right conditions, liquid droplets from sneezes, coughs and just exhaling can travel more than 26 feet and linger in the air for minutes.
Findings such as these may have some bearing on the CDC’s recommendation on Friday that Americans wear non-surgical face masks in public — especially in places “where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”
“There is no virtual wall at this 3- to 6-feet distance” says Lydia Bourouiba, the study’s author, who specializes in fluid dynamics and is an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. These findings suggest the greatest risk is for health care workers working with infected patients, she says.
As seen in this video, shot from different views and posted with Bourouiba’s report, the invisible cloud can travel up to 26 feet: