Scientists affiliated with leading research institutions across the U.S. state in a letter published Monday in the journal Science that researchers across disciplines must converge to deliver clear public health guidance about how SARS-CoV-2 is spread in the air.
The researchers write in the open letter that the scientific community must clarify the terminology used related to aerosols and droplets, and employ a more modern size threshold, rather than the existing one based on 1930s-era work. Authors include experts from the University of California San Diego, University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, and others.
Public health officials should make a clear distinction between droplets ejected by coughing or sneezing — which have inspired the social distancing mantra of six feet of separation between people — and aerosols that can carry the virus for much greater distances. Viruses in aerosols smaller than 100 microns can remain airborne in a confined space for