Study confirms 6-foot Covid rule does not guarantee protection indoors

Coronavirus

A 3-D rendering of the coronavirus (Getty Images).

(NEXSTAR) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established a “6-foot rule” for social distancing, but the interval does not suffice to protect you from COVID-19 indoors, according to a new study.

The study confirms previous research on indoor spread published in the CDC in early-mid 2020.

“Compliance to the Six-Foot Rule will substantially reduce the risk of large-drop transmission,” according to the study, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the official journal of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

“However, the liquid drops expelled by respiratory events are known to span a considerable range of scales, with radii varying from fractions of a micron to millimeters.”

There is now overwhelming evidence that indoor airborne transmission associated with relatively small, micron-scale aerosol droplets plays a dominant role in the spread of COVID-19, especially for so-called “superspreading events,” which invariably occur indoors.

“A guideline to limit indoor airborne transmission of COVID-19” by Martin Z. Bazant and John W. M. Bush, April 27, 2021, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the official journal of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Depending on the ventilation and airflow in the space, the researchers say keeping 6 feet of distance is no different than 60 feet.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, even if you are vaccinated, experts recommend wearing masks while indoors, practicing social distancing and washing hands.

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