Researchers from the University of Florida say they have proven that floating respiratory droplets contain live coronavirus.
They isolated live virus from aerosols collected seven to 16 feet away from patients in a COVID-19 ward at University of Florida Health Shands Hospital. The distance is greater than the six feet recommended in social distancing guidelines.
The findings have not been peer-reviewed yet, and the ramifications aren’t certain.
“The only conclusion I can take from this paper is you can culture viable virus out of the air, But that’s not a small thing,” Angela Rasmussen, Ph.D., a virologist at Columbia University in New York, told the New York Times.
Precautions for airborne transmission, such as improved ventilation, are important, Seema Lakdawala, Ph.D., a respiratory virus expert at the University of Pittsburgh, told the media outlet.