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Across the Hall

A new study relying on closed-circuit camera recordings, genetic testing, and contact tracing gives insight into the airborne spread of SARS-CoV-2, CNN reports.

It adds that the study focused on travelers quarantining in a New Zealand facility in the middle of July. One traveler from the Philippines tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 during quarantine and was moved to an isolation facility, and then another traveler from a group of five from the United Arab Emirates also tested positive and the whole group was moved to across the hall from the first traveler, CNN writes.

As researchers from New Zealand health boards and elsewhere report in Emerging Infectious Diseases, three additional people from the group of five eventually also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. But based on a genetic analysis, they found that they were infected by the traveler across the hall with whom they had no contact, rather than the person in their group. The researchers traced the likely infection route to a handful of instances when the doors to both rooms across the corridor were open at the same time.

CNN notes that a similar study from Hong Kong also documented viral transmission at a quarantine facility there.

The fifth person in the group entering New Zealand from UAE — the only one who had been vaccinated — never developed COVID-19.