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Coronavirus travels twice as far as previously thought and lives on shoes

(Photo credit: Shutterstock.com / By SamaraHeisz5)

The coronavirus is now believed to be able to travel as far as 13 feet from an infected person, more than twice as far as the current social distancing recommendations of six feet, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated in its new report.

In a new study was published in the CDC’s journal Emerging Infectious Diseases on Friday, April 10. The Atlanta-based government agency also said COVID-19 can travel on the soles of the shoes, the New York Daily News reports.

The study was conducted by a team called the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Beijing between Feb. 19 and March 2.

The team monitored patients inside the ICU wing at a hospital who were from Wuhan, China, the origin of the coronavirus. Not surprisingly, the greatest concentration of the highly contagious virus was found on objects where many hands normally touch, such as doorknobs, trash cans, floors, bed rails and other common areas.

The researchers concluded that the virus can remain “suspended” in the air for as far as 13 feet away from an infected person, the Daily News stated.

“The aerosol distribution characteristics … indicate that the transmission distance of [COVID-19] might be 4 m.” The “m” stands for meters, which equals more than 13 feet.

The CDC said that, according to the study, the sole of the shoes of the medical worker showed that they also can act as “carriers” for COVID-19.

“Furthermore, half of the samples from the soles of the ICU medical staff shoes tested positive,” the team wrote. “Therefore, the soles of medical staff shoes might function as carriers.”