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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – A small study from China indicates that the coronavirus can be found in the air up to 13 feet from patients in a hospital. The virus was also found to linger on hospital staffers’ shoes and may be spread by walking in contaminated shoes.

The research was posted online in the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal.

“The aerosol distribution characteristics … indicate that the transmission distance of [COVID-19] might be 4 m (more than 13 feet),” the report says. Testing was done in areas that held a total of 37 virus patients.

“Furthermore, half of the samples from the soles of the ICU medical staff shoes tested positive,” the researchers wrote of samples taken at Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China. “Therefore, the soles of medical staff shoes might function as carriers.”

High levels of the virus were also found on frequently touched surfaces such as trashcans, bed rails and computer mice.

The CDC recommends 6 feet for social distancing, while the World Health Organization claims 3 feet should be enough.

The coronavirus has infected more than 1.85 million people and killed at least 114,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

At least 557,000 cases and more than 22,000 coronavirus-related deaths have been recorded in the United States. New York state alone has more cases than any one country.