The 6-foot rule is 'outdated': Researchers devise chart to gauge COVID risk


August 31, 2020

Scientists now believe that droplets and aerosols containing SARS-CoV-2 pathogens can be expelled at least 8 meters (26 feet) by coughing, sneezing, shouting and singing. Because of this, British researchers say the 6-foot rule of physical distancing is outdated and oversimplified. They have proposed a new model for assessing the risk of infection under a wide range of conditions.

The three etched-in-stone rules of the coronavirus pandemic are: 1) wear a mask, 2) wash your hands frequently and 3) keep at least 6 feet from others.

Now British researchers say No. 3 needs some tweaking.

A new paper published Monday in The BMJ, the peer-reviewed UK medical journal, finds that the 2-meter (6-foot) safe physical-distancing rule is "an oversimplification based on outdated science."


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