Frequently Asked Questions

How does social distancing help flatten the curve?


It keeps you and everyone around you safer by slowing the spread of the virus from person to person.




What is the difference between practical and minimum distance required?


Required Minimum Area is based solely on the circular area around each person in order to maintain the desired distance from other people. Practical Minimum Area considers that people would be arranged in columns and rows such that the area of a square is required around each person in filling a space. Practical Minimum Area is always greater than Required Minimum Area.




What does the additional spacing factor take into account?


It helps make the area safer for everyone. We used a 20% standard factor to allow freer movement between people such as corridor space. You can increase or decrease the factor upon the advice of public health officials to meet the standards you wish to implement.




What was the inspiration for creating this tool?


Simply to make it easy for everyone to recognize how much space is required to conduct a safe meeting or event. The initial interest was to plan the conduct of New England Town Meetings. It was well received and many suggested that it could be used by others to plan and execute safe meetings, events and workplaces.




Why is six feet the default distance?


The Center for Disease Control has recommended this minimum distance.




What formula did you use?


Just basic math in the background. We did the series of calculations so you don’t have to crunch the numbers. We use half the "Space between people" as the "radius" around each person in the Output calculations.




In the calculations how are the people in the space positioned?


The people are assumed to be standing, not sitting or lying down. Additionally people are "point masses" with no depth. People will be packed so as to have the "Loose packing of sand grains" rather than a "More compact packing": see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packing_problems




What is the difference between loose and compact packing?


Here is a visual to distinguish between loose and compact packing/




What type of environment does this tool take into account?


The program's output area is for people spaced outdoors on level ground with fresh air circulation.The guidelines provided do not consider additional spacing needed in an internal room. For example, the following are not considered: - The impact of the room dimensions and shape on the area required (i.e., this is not considered for the calculation based on entering the number of people). - Interior room obstacles or layout, such as chairs and furniture. - Requirements for non-obstructed entrance and exits (and paths), etc. - Fire safety laws and guidelines.





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