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UPDATE: CDC states updated guidance on COVID-19 airborne spread 'posted in error'

UPDATE: CDC states updated guidance on COVID-19 airborne spread 'posted in error' Photo: AP/File.

Rebecca Omastiak
Updated: September 21, 2020 01:32 PM
Created: September 21, 2020 09:01 AM

After updating guidance on its website Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a statement Monday that indicates the updates were posted in error.

The CDC issued the following statement Monday:

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"A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency's official website. CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted."

The guidance previously stated there is increasing evidence droplets and airborne particles "can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet."

An earlier version of this report appears below.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidance to better acknowledge COVID-19's airborne spread.

The CDC states the virus is most commonly transmitted "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," the site now says. "This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads."

The guidance, which was updated Friday, also now states there is increasing evidence droplets and airborne particles "can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet."

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"In general, the more closely a person with COVID-19 interacts with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread," the site states.

The CDC continues to advise staying at least 6 feet away from others, whenever possible; covering your nose and mouth with a mask when around others; washing your hands often with soap and water and using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol when soap and water aren't available; staying home and isolating from others when sick; routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces; using air purifiers to help reduce airborne germs in indoor spaces.

KSTP's complete COVID-19 coverage


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