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Coronavirus FAQ: Does 6-foot Distance Still Protect You?

As we face a new, more transmissible COVID-19 variant in summer 2024, maintaining distance remains relevant despite its debated effectiveness. The CDC's original 6-foot guideline stemmed from 19th-century research showing bacteria could travel that far. However, more recent findings reveal smaller airborne aerosols can travel much farther, challenging the initial droplet transmission theory.

Linsey Marr, an aerosols expert, emphasizes that while there's no magic in the 6-foot rule, closer proximity increases infection risk due to higher particle concentration. Ultimately, distancing, akin to avoiding secondhand smoke, reduces risk and should be combined with other protective measures to mitigate COVID-19 spread. Read more from NPR here.