Keeping Middle Seat Free In Airplanes Could Reduce COVID Spread: CDC Study

Leaving the middle seat empty on commercial airline flight could significantly reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study has found.

The study, released Wednesday, found that the risk of exposure to the coronavirus on an aircraft is cut by 23 to 57 percent if middle seats are left vacant, compared with a full flight.

“Based on this laboratory model, a vacant middle seat reduces risk for exposure to SARS-CoV-2 from nearby passengers,” the study says.

“These data suggest that increasing physical distance between passengers and lowering passenger density could help reduce potential COVID-19 exposures during air travel. Physical distancing of airplane passengers, including through policies such as middle seat vacancy, could provide additional reductions in SARS-CoV-2 exposure risk,” the researchers wrote. Read more…..


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