The CDC is updating their guidance on the transmission of COVID-19 through the air and warning about poorly ventilated situations, now saying that is ““thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”
On the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website about coronavirus, under how it spreads, they list the main way as: “Through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes. These particles can be inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways, and lungs and cause infection.”
They also updated the guidance that particles can remain in the air longer and travel farther than originally thought.
“There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes). In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk,” the CDC website reads.
Previous guidance stated COVID-19 was believed to be transferred through larger droplets through close contact, closer than six feet.
The website was changed over the weekend, according to multiple media reports, to reflect these updates to the guidance. They reflect new findings from recent studies.
Including one released by the CDC earlier this month showing Americans with positive COVID-19 test results were twice as likely to eat at a restaurant or cafe than those who tested negative.
“Reports of exposures in restaurants have been linked to air circulation. Direction, ventilation, and intensity of airflow might affect virus transmission, even if social distancing measures and mask use are implemented according to current guidance. Masks cannot be effectively worn while eating and drinking, whereas shopping and numerous other indoor activities do not preclude mask use,” that report stated.
In addition to other preventative measures, the CDC also now recommends “Use air purifiers to help reduce airborne germs in indoor spaces.”
The updated CDC guidance about air transmission also comes days after the CDC’s director, Dr. Robert Redfield, said masks could be even more helpful in combating the coronavirus than a vaccine.
The World Health Organization changed their guidance and noted the prevalence of air transmission earlier this summer. Hundreds of scientists encouraged the WHO to make the acknowledgement following research and studies.
“Airborne viruses, including COVID-19, are among the most contagious and easily spread,” the updated CDC website reads.