Can runners spread the coronavirus even if they're more than 6 feet away?

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  There's a concern that runners can spread the coronavirus even if they are more than 6 feet away from others, but how true is that claim? 

As the weather becomes nicer and more people start exercising outside, many are becoming concerned with runners not wearing masks — some are worried that those deep running breaths can travel further than normal, and if the runner has COVID-19, then it could put many at risk. 

“I think 6 feet essentially is still a safe distance,” advised KYW Medical Editor Dr. Brian McDonough.

He says you may want to stay an extra foot or two away from a maskless runner, but it shouldn’t cause you too much concern.

“It is quite possible that you could push saliva 7, 8, or 9 feet. I don't worry much about it carrying in the wind, and those things. The reality is, it's usually heavy enough to drop,” he said. 

He adds even though they may be pesky, runners should keep a mask handy just in case they do encounter others.

“Definitely wear a mask if you're going to be closer than 10 feet, because the reality is, if you're 10 feet, you're going to get closer if they're coming the other way, and they come by you,” he added. 

Masks can be bothersome and uncomfortable for some runners, but there are options for workout masks you could explore.