Empty middle airplane seat could cut COVID-19 exposure by up to 57%: U.S. CDC

A vacant middle airplane seat could cut the risk of exposure to coronavirus by 23 to 57 percent compared with a full flight, according to a study on physical distancing onboard.

Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kansas State University based their findings on laboratory modeling of exposure to COVID-19 on single-aisle and twin-aisle aircraft in November 2020.

The research is backed by results of a separate investigation of coronavirus transmission on a 10-hour international flight in March 2020, in which 16 people were infected, they said. That study found 75 percent of infected passengers were seated within two rows of a symptomatic passenger.

U.S. airlines blocked middle seats early in the pandemic but have gradually opened them up, citing studies showing low transmission risk if everyone onboard wears a mask. Delta Air Lines is lifting its seating block beginning May 1.

Source: https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-04-15/Empty-middle-airplane-seat-could-cut-COVID-19-exposure-by-57-CDC-ZtlrT79KrS/index.html

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