Note: As so much of our knowledge on this virus is still being sussed out, it is better to err on the cautious side. While this calculator is meant to assist you in “maximizing” your space, make sure to consider additional spacing for movement and other safety measures beyond social distancing, such as creating physical barriers.
About the Social Distance Calculator
The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending social or physical distancing to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This includes staying at least 6 feet from other people. This calculator will help maximize the seating while maintaining 6 feet (or more) distance between people.
While using this tool, please also remain aware of your locality’s orders and restrictions on large gatherings. This tool is best used for small events where people are to be seated in one place for a time such as offices, classrooms, talking events, doctor’s offices, etc.
While planning the seat arrangements consider additional measures such as,
- Installing physical barriers, such as sneeze guard and partition,
- Providing visual guides, such as markers on the ground, and
- Placing desks to face the same direction instead of facing each other.
Why practice social or physical distancing?
COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. COVID-19 can live for hours or days on a surface, depending on factors such as sunlight, humidity, and the type of surface. Social distancing helps limit opportunities to come in contact with contaminated surfaces and infected people outside the home.
Although the risk of severe illness may be different for everyone, anyone can get and spread COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread and protecting themselves, their family, and their community.
For more information on COVID-19 and other preventative action, please visit the U.S. CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/social-distancing.html
On how the calculator works
We realized that in the staggered formation that the space between people was an equilateral triangle. Using basic geometric principles, we can calculate the distance needed between each row of people and as such, the maximum capacity inside a rectangular space.