Two metres or one: what is the evidence for physical distancing in covid-19?

Physical distancing is an important part of measures to control covid-19, but exactly how far away and for how long contact is safe in different contexts is unclear. Rules that stipulate a single specific physical distance (1 or 2 metres) between individuals to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing covid-19, are based on an outdated, dichotomous notion of respiratory droplet size. This overlooks the physics of respiratory emissions, where droplets of all sizes are trapped and moved by the exhaled moist and hot turbulent gas cloud that keeps them concentrated as it carries them over metres in a few seconds.1 2 After the cloud slows sufficiently, ventilation, specific patterns of airflow, and type of activity become important. Viral load of the emitter, duration of exposure, and susceptibility of an individual to infection are also important.

Two metres or one: what is the evidence for physical distancing in covid-19?
Size: 2.0 MB