New COVID-19 study on airplanes reveals importance of masks ahead of holiday travels

A study conducted by the Department of Defense and United Airlines suggests there is little chance viral particles are passed on from passenger to passenger if all wear masks.
1:40 | 10/15/20

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Transcript for New COVID-19 study on airplanes reveals importance of masks ahead of holiday travels
Now, to the new study tonight on the safety of air travel during this pandemic. United airlines teaming up with the department of defense on a six-month study. Gio Benitez covers aviation and the results tonight were somewhat reassuring. Reporter: Tonight, as Americans prepare for holiday travel in the midst of a pandemic, researchers for the department of defense say masks on a plane seem to make the transmission of a virus unlikely. Using a mannequin simulating breathing and coughing, along with 40 sensors on a plane, the study says with a mask on only 0.003% of particles actually made their way into another passenger's breathing zone. The study, spanning six months onboard united planes, did not simulate whether someone was walking around or eating during a flight, a more real-world scenario. Researchers say the plane's air filters removed 99.99% of particles every six minutes. They say the study, which is not yet peer reviewed, is just the beginning. Now we can apply that to somebody standing outside of the bathroom, instead of sitting in the exact seat that we tested. Reporter: Medical experts are encouraged by the news, but caution -- The big issue, of course, is it's not just the airplane, it's the jetways, it's all of the other stuff. Reporter: And David, in another stuast week, researchers looked at more than a billion travelers worldwide this year and they found just 44 cases of potential in-flight transmission and that was mostly in the early days of the pandemic, before a mask was required. David? All right, gio Benitez tonight. Gio, thank Next tonight here, the

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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