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6-Feet Distancing Rule Cannot Protect You Indoors From Coronavirus: Study

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have claimed that the “6-feet rule” initially endorsed by the healthcare experts for social distancing amid the Coronavirus pandemic is absolutely ineffective in indoor settings.

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In a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of the US, MIT researchers argued that the risk of contracting COVID-19 even with facemasks while indoors is as high at 60 feet as it is at 6 feet.


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According to the study, MIT researchers have devised a highly effective method of calculating the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in an indoor setting which takes into account a number of factors that could influence transmission, including the number of hours spent inside, air filtration, immunization, variant strains, mask use, and even respiratory activities such as speaking.

The new method has raised questions over the “6-feet rule” that received widespread endorsement from healthcare experts and organizations including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).


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Martin Z. Bazant, a professor of chemical engineering and applied mathematics at MIT and study’s lead investigator, said “the “6-feet rule” has no basis in indoor settings because the air breathed out by someone always comes down after rising in a closed environment.” adding that “the longer someone is in a closed setting with an infected person, the greater the chance of contracting COVID-19.”

He suggested that opening windows or keeping on the fans in indoor settings can prove as effective as installing a new filtration system which incurs a significant amount of financial resources.

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