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Melanie Wong | Dec 6, 202009:44 PM     3

" . . . On the one hand, these studies confirm how hard it is to make indoor dining safe,since masks cannot be worn while eating. Airborne transmission is not only possible while dining, it is possible beyond our current distance guidelines in time periods as short as five minutes! What we consider close contact for purposes of tracing and testing in this country (generally an unmasked interaction within less than six feet for more than fifteen minutes) is inadequate.

On the other hand, notice the striking number of people not infected in the study, despite sometimes being seated next to the initial infection case. People sitting in the same table as A1 were not infected. People sitting the next table over who had their backs to the airflow were not infected, even though two others in the direction of the airflow were. In other words, not facing the infected person mattered greatly. People sitting the same distance away from the index case but on the other side of the airflow, tables E and F, were completely spared. They were spared despite three out of four people in table B, where the air flew back again at them, getting infected, even though, like the unaffected table, were just a single table over. . . "

Small Data, Big Implications

What we can learn from the latest indoor dining study

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