CDC Updates Guidelines, Acknowledges Airborne Transmission of COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidelines on Monday, October 5, acknowledging that airborne particles can transmit COVID-19.
The guidelines on how COVID-19 spreads were updated last month on the CDC website, explaining how tiny aerosol particles play a primary role in spreading the virus. However, the agency removed the guidelines claiming a draft was an erroneous upload.
The CDC updated that in certain circumstances, there is evidence that people with COVID-19 have infected others who were more than 6-feet away.
The guidelines emphasize, “These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation.” Such occurrences were due to a person breathing heavily, possibly by doing exercise or singing. The CDC explains how such activities and areas cause a buildup of virus-carrying particles.
YEAY! We finally got the CDC update. Acknowledges airborne transmission, emphasizes ventilation, says six feet not absolute when indoors especially if singing/exercising (add talking). There may be minor quibbles among the scientists but this is important! https://t.co/0tM6J0IcC3 pic.twitter.com/LOmF7PWaBB
— zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) October 5, 2020
Scientists elaborated that people with COVID-19 produced smaller droplets and particles concentrated enough to spread the virus. Those infected could have been in the same space with the carrier or after the person with COVID-19 had left.
The agency accompanied the guidelines with a news release that said, “Today’s update acknowledges the existence of some published reports showing limited, uncommon, circumstances where people with COVID-19 infected others who were more than 6 feet away or shortly after the COVID-19-positive person left the area.”
Per new CDC guidelines
Most common: Infection via close contact, droplets, singing, talking, etc
Somewhat common: Infection via airborne viral particles that can linger
Not as common: Infection from virus on surfaceshttps://t.co/oXFai4hMOp
— Emma Kinery (@EmmaKinery) October 5, 2020
The CDC ends the guidelines with a list on how to prevent being exposed to COVID-19: stay at least 6 feet away from others, cover your mouth and nose with a mask, wash your hands, avoid crowded spaces and ensure ventilation in enclosed spaces, stay home and isolate when sick, and routinely clean and disinfect.
It is safe to say that with these updated guidelines, there is nothing more to do but ensure the safety of others and ourselves.