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COVID: South Korea Study Shows Six Feet Not Enough

COVID-19 cell


BY BRIAN HEWS • December 11, 2020

A study published in the Journal of Korean Medical Science is raising concerns that the widely accepted standard of six feet of social distance may not be far enough to keep people safe.

The study is adding to a growing body of evidence on airborne transmission of the virus.

And it is being done by South Korea and their aggressive contact tracing that has enabled researchers to closely track how the virus moves through populations.

On June 17, there was a coronavirus outbreak in Korea associated with long distance droplet transmission that started in a restaurant.

At the restaurant considered the site of exposure, air flow direction and velocity, distances between cases, and movement of visitors were investigated and duplicated by the authors and several aerodynamic engineers.

The authors wrote, “ despite sitting a far distance away, the airflow came down the wall and created a valley of wind. People who were along that line were infected, we concluded this was a droplet transmission, and beyond two meters.”

“In this outbreak,” the study’s author wrote, “distances between infector and infected persons was farther than the mandate 2 meter transmission range, the guidelines on quarantine and epidemiological investigation must be updated to reflect these factors for control and prevention of COVID-19.”

The research was in line with a July study in China , which looked at infections among three families who dined at a restaurant along the flow of air conditioning at tables that were three feet apart, overlapping for about an hour. Ten of the diners tested positive for the coronavirus.