CDC Updates Guidance on How COVID-19 Spreads

Clay Curtis
September 22, 2020

While many across the country have embraced experts' recommendations to wear face coverings to protect against the virus' spread, others have protested their use.

It went on to say that particles could potentially travel farther than 6 feet, in places like restaurants, exercise classes, or during choir practice. And that's because of the mounting evidence that shows the coronavirus can be spread through microscopic respiratory particles, also referred to as aerosols. "This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads".

"CDC is now updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2".

A CDC spokesman said the site had been updated "without appropriate in-house technical review".

The CDC did not respond Sunday to requests to discuss the update.

"A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency's official website".

This idea that the virus can be passed at distances of greater than six feet is anything but new.

"The consistent inconsistency in this administration's guidance on COVID-19 has severely compromised the nation's trust in our public health agencies", said Dr. Howard Koh, a Harvard University public health professor who was a high-ranking official in the Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama administration. But in July, under growing pressure from researchers, the World Health Organization acknowledged that the virus could linger in the air indoors and potentially infect peopleeven when they practice social distancing.

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What's the difference between respiratory droplets and aerosol particles?

The latest news comes after the CDC on August 24 published guidance stating that it wasn't necessary to test people without COVID-19 symptoms for the disease, even if they had been exposed to the virus.

Marr says that the changes mistakenly posted by the CDC could be significant if they are implemented.

On Monday, federal health officials said the post was a mistake and that it had been released before full editing and clearance was completed.

Without notice in May, the CDC altered guidance for reopening houses of worship, deleting a warning posted the previous day that said the act of singing may contribute to coronavirus transmission - a switch reportedly due to pressure from the White House. One expert told CNN this week the next months may make for an 'apocalyptic fall.' .

Dr. Abraar Karan, a physician at Harvard Medical School working on the COVID-19 response in MA, tweeted that CDC deeming aerosols one of the "common routes of spread" of the virus" was "a significant shift. The most common point has been the increased evidence showing aerosol droplets produced simply by talking serve as a primary transmitter because they can survive in the air longer and potentially travel farther than the larger droplets produced by coughing or sneezing. "The reason that bars have been such a big problem is that people get loud when they get alcohol onboard and move close together to hear, and you can't drink a beer or a shot with a mask on".

The posting appeared to confirm emerging research that suggests tiny particles can transport the virus some distance, especially in indoor or poorly ventilated environments.

On Friday, the CDC posted a guideline stating that COVID-19 can transmit over a distance greater than 6 feet via airborne transmission.

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