Is 6 feet enough for social distancing? An MIT researcher says droplets carrying coronavirus can travel up to 27 feet.
CLOSE Got a minute? Here’s how you can help slow the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 in under 60 seconds. USA TODAYThe novel coronavirus has prompted social distancing measures around the world. One researcher believes what’s being done isn’t enough.Lydia Bourouiba, an associate professor at MIT, has researched the dynamics of exhalations (coughs and sneezes, for instance) for years at The Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory and found exhalations cause gaseous clouds that can travel up to 27 feet. Her research could have implications for the global COVID-19 pandemic, though measures called for by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization call for six and three feet of space, respectively. “There’s an urgency in revising the guidelines currently being given by the WHO and the CDC on the needs for protective equipment, particularly for the frontline health care workers,” Bourouiba told USA TODAY. There are 8 strains of coronavirus circling the globe: Here’s what clues they’re giving scientists.Bourouiba’s research calls for better measures to protect health care workers and, potentially, more distance from infected people who are coughing or sneezing. She said current guidelines are based on “large droplets” as the method of transmission for the virus and