How far can a cough travel?

How far can a cough travel?

As the coronavirus pandemic has continued for weeks, health officials are still recommending people stand six feet apart from each other to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Now, we’re getting answers about just how far germs can travel.

Researchers at Florida Atlantic University built a dummy that can cough to measure how far droplets traveled in a given amount of time.

They found for the average cough, the droplets instantly went three feet and were at six feet within five seconds.

In 10 seconds, the droplets had traveled nine feet — beyond the CDC-recommended social distancing guidelines — and kept going.

“At nine feet they could linger for, provided it’s still air, two to three minutes, but the concentration is less than what it would be at six feet by a factor of eight,” said Manhar Dhanak, Chairman of the Engineering Department at FAU.

Even when they put a mask on the dummy, particles still escaped from the sides of the mask, but they didn’t travel very far.

Researchers said after seeing these test results, six feet is the minimum distance you should stay from other people in public, but farther is better.



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