The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admitted on Monday that coronavirus can spread through particles in the air and often fly beyond distances of six feet. This is a walk back on similar guidance last month.
“COVID-19 can often be transmitted by airborne transmission due to tiny droplets that remain in the air for anything from minutes to hours,” the update on the agency’s website said.
“There is evidence that, in certain cases, people with COVID-19 seem to have influenced those who were more than six feet away,” the agency said.
“These transmissions took place inside confined spaces with insufficient ventilation. Often the infected person, for example, while singing or exercising, was breathing heavily.”
“Under these conditions, scientists conclude that the amount of smaller infectious droplets and particles generated by people with COVID-19 has been sufficiently concentrated to spread the virus to other people,” the agency added.
The page said, “The people who were infected were in the same room at the same time or shortly after the person with COVID-19 had left.”
The admission comes after similar guidance was published and then taken down last month.
“A draft version of the proposed revisions to these guidelines was posted on the official website of the agency in error,” a CDC spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal at the time.
The CDC said on Monday, it “continues to assume, based on current research, that the longer and closer they are to a person with COVID-19, individuals are more likely to become infected.”
“The update today recognizes the existence of some published reports that indicate small, unusual circumstances in which people with COVID-19 infected others who were more than 6 feet away or shortly after the positive COVID-19 individual left an area,” the agency said in a statement.