COVID-19 Tips from Nurse Mason #5

COVID-19 Tips & Updates from Nurse Mason

October 13, 2020

Why is 6 feet and 15 minutes considered a close contact? 

  • This is the distance a droplet can spread – the farther away from someone who is positive the smaller and less number of viral parts there will be. 

  • It is also the amount of time for the virus to build up in a particular area – you need a lot of the virus to become infected.  So if someone is talking super close to you without a mask, you will be exposed to way more virus than if you both have masks on and are 6 feet apart.   

New research is showing that the virus is airborne and can spread farther than 6 feet.  Why is everyone still saying stay 6 feet away? The virus particles that can spread more than 6 feet away are very small aerosols therefore the viral dose is much lower.  So you “could” be exposed but the amount of virus would be very small.  But that is why it’s important to protect yourself with your mask and washing hands. 

What is the likelihood of getting COVID-19 from physical touch points? 

This is similar to any communicable disease…such as the flu, rotavirus and COVID-19.  Can you get it from the surface?  Yes – but the likelihood is very low.  And YOU have complete control over whether you get infected from a surface or not.  WASH YOUR HANDS and don’t touch your face.  COVID-19 cannot go through your skin, it needs a mucus membrane to enter our bodies.


Nurse Mason is an Oakland County Health Department nurse assigned to St. Catherine of Siena Academy to help us keep our STARS and their families informed and safe this year.

Caroline Mason, M.Ed, BSN, RN
Oakland County School Nurse