The coronavirus spreads at least 13 feet, travels on shoes: CDC
The coronavirus can travel through the air at least 13 feet — more than twice as far as social distancing guidelines, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Research published in the federal agency’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal shows the contagion spreading much farther than previous official suggestions — and also getting spread on people’s shoes.
“The aerosol distribution characteristics … indicate that the transmission distance of [COVID-19] might be 4 m,” the report says, translating as more than 13 feet.
“Furthermore, half of the samples from the soles of the ICU medical staff shoes tested positive,” the researchers wrote of samples taken at Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan.
“Therefore, the soles of medical staff shoes might function as carriers.”
The report, based on research by a team at the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Beijing, appears to reaffirm fears that the current social distancing guidelines of 6 feet may not be enough.
It also suggests people — especially medical staff on the front lines — could inadvertently be spreading the bug away from its source, recommending stringent disinfecting measures.
High levels were also found on frequently touched surfaces like computer mice, trash cans and bed rails.
The CDC recommends 6 feet for social distancing, while the World Health Organization claims just 3 feet should be enough, less than a quarter of the distance the current study suggests the bug spreads.
Research last month said the virus could travel up to 27 feet. However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, called that “terribly misleading,” saying it would require a “very, very robust, vigorous, achoo sneeze” to travel that far and the scenario was “not practical.”