CDC study suggests coronavirus can travel 13 feet in air and live on shoes

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in public health and government officials in the U.S. recommending social distancing practices of at least six feet. A new study, however, suggests the SARS-CoV-2 virus was "detected in [the] air [13 feet] from patients."

The research, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the "maximum transmission distance of SARS-CoV-2 aerosol" could be four meters or 13 feet.

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The virus was also found present on the floor of the ICU unit in a hospital in Wuhan, China and on the soles of healthcare professionals, according to the study, which was conducted from Feb. 19 to March 2, 2020.

"In addition, as medical staff walk around the ward, the virus can be tracked all over the floor, as indicated by the 100 [percent] rate of positivity from the floor in the pharmacy, where there were no patients," researchers wrote in the study. "Furthermore, half of the samples from the soles of the ICU medical staff shoes tested positive. Therefore, the soles of medical staff shoes might function as carriers. The 3 weak positive results from the floor of dressing room 4 might also arise from these carriers. We highly recommend that persons disinfect shoe soles before walking out of wards containing COVID-19 patients."

Shoes are disinfected with a blue spray bottle during the the COVID-19 outbreak in a file image taken on April 1, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Researchers also discovered the "[v]irus was widely distributed on floors, computer mice, trash cans and sickbed handrails."

FOX News has reached out to the CDC with a request for comment.

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Separate research that was published in March warned that droplets of the novel coronavirus could travel as far as 27 feet.

That study, conducted by researchers at MIT, raised eyebrows in the medical community, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who urged caution on its findings.

“This could really be terribly misleading,” Fauci said at a March 31 White House press briefing, adding that it would apply only to people with extremely strong sneezes.

As of Monday morning, more than 1.86 million coronavirus cases have been diagnosed worldwide, including more than 557,000 in the U.S., the most impacted country on the planet.

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