The CDC Has Finally Acknowledged That COVID Spreads Through the Air
After months of back and forth, the agency is finally recognizing that COVID can be airborne.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has once again updated its guidance surrounding the transmission of COVID and after months of back and forth, the agency has finally acknowledged that "COVID-19 can sometimes be spread by airborne transmission." The CDC's guidelines now confirm that "some infections can be spread by exposure to the virus in small droplets and particles that can linger in the air for minutes to hours." The CDC also acknowledges that airborne transmission can affect people who are beyond six feet from the infected individual and that the virus could linger in an area even after the infected person vacates. Read on for more on the latest from the CDC, and if something's off with you right now, know that There's an 80 Percent Chance You Have COVID If You Have This Symptom.
The CDC's update is a long-awaited one, after seemingly vacillating on the issue last month. On Sept. 18, the CDC's guidelines were updated to include the possibility of COVID being transmitted through the air. However, on Sept. 21, the CDC claimed that the update was released "in error," and subsequently deleted any mention of COVID being airborne from their guidelines.
The agency's Oct. 5 update, which relates COVID transmission to that of tuberculosis, measles, and chickenpox, also includes the fact that poor ventilation indoors increases the risk of airborne spread. The CDC cites cases of infected people breathing heavily indoors, for example, while singing or exercising who have subsequently infected others.
"Under these circumstances, scientists believe that the amount of infectious smaller droplets and particles produced by the people with COVID-19 became concentrated enough to spread the virus to other people," the CDC's website reads. "The people who were infected were in the same space during the same time or shortly after the person with COVID-19 had left."
Although the CDC is now acknowledging that airborne transmission is possible, the agency maintains that person-to-person contact remains the most significant way COVID spreads. As a result, wearing a mask and social distancing continue to be the best ways to protect yourself from the virus, both in terms of close contact with an infected individual and airborne transmission. And if you're worried you could have the virus, check out The 51 Most Common COVID Symptoms You Could Have.