The Weekly Dose
July 2, 2020
Welcome to The Weekly Dose! Each week, we will review one scientific article, summarizing the research and providing key takeaways. Our goal in this endeavor is to make science understandable and accessible to all. For the moment, we will focus on studies related to COVID-19 as evolving research on the topic is directly relevant to your safety and well-being. We expect, however, to cover other scientific
topics of interest in the future!
A new article in the journal Science suggests that properly fitted face masks and effective physical distancing are important to reducing the spread of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Scientists behind the study base their recommendations on analysis of other studies’ findings which suggest that small respiratory droplets and aerosols expelled from infected individuals’ intense coughs and sneezes can:
  • travel much farther than the CDC- and WHO-recommended six foot social distance recommendation and 
  • remain in the air of indoor environments up to 12 hours.
The study’s authors point out that the WHO’s physical distancing recommendations are based on research carried out in the 1930s, when instruments to detect small, virus-containing respiratory particles did not exist, and thus further study is necessary. They also highlight that East Asian countries that implemented “universal masking” had fewer cases than those which did not, despite the former countries’ generally having high population density and not mandating universal shut-downs. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Sars-CoV-2 may be “silently spreading” by people who have no known symptoms of the virus.
  • Small, virus-containing respiratory droplets and even smaller aerosols may remain in the air of indoor environments for hours.
  • Scientists do not yet know the full potential of these droplets to transmit Sars-CoV-2.
  • The authors thus recommend the use of properly fitting masks in public places as a physical barrier.

Recommendations for safe mask-wearing can be found here.
Who is VSC?

Vital Statistics Consulting (VSC) is a healthcare consultancy that specializes in the evaluation of policies and programs and provides independent, rigorous, innovative analysis to support data-driven recommendations that improve healthcare quality and organizational efficiency.
What's New at VSC?
We recently launched a business offering to bring workplace safety protocols to our clients who are interested in re-opening or enhancing current COVID-19 measures. Our comprehensive approach integrates analysis of client workflow and physical workspaces; robust studies in epidemiology, immunology, and virology; and public-health policy guidelines to create a customized plan for safe reintroduction of employees to your workspace.

Please feel free to contact us by e-mail at or call us at 1-877-VIT-STAT.