6 feet of space may not be enough for social distancing, OSU research says

STILLWATER, Okla. — Researchers at Oklahoma State University are examining social distancing and determined 6 feet of space may not be enough to protect against the spreading of coronavirus.

Dr. Yu Feng is studying computational lung aerosol dynamics. Feng and his colleagues said research shows why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation of 6 feet of space when social distancing may not be enough.

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The air is rarely still and Dr. Feng says microscopic particles can travel much farther.

For this reason, not unlike the CDC, he also recommends covering your face to prevent the spread.

Feng’s sister fought COVID-19 in China.

He said his friends who are physicians ask about her firsthand experience, and he texts her questions about how to best treat coronavirus patients.

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Feng’s team also analyzed the exposure risk for runners and found -- even if they maintain six feet of social distancing -- the trailing runner is exposed to droplets if they are running a ten-minute mile.

He hopes to discover a way to get antiviral medications into the small airways in the lower part of the lungs to better treat COVID-19.

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