The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the coronavirus can “sometimes” be spread through the air, especially inside places that have poor ventilation, The Washington Post reports.
This isn’t the first time the CDC has stated the virus can be spread through airborne transmission. Last month, the agency posted an update to its website about how the virus can spread and it mentioned airborne transmission. That update was removed after the CDC stated it was posted in error and had not gone through proper review channels.
The previous draft version mentioned aerosols, which are tiny droplets that can stay in the air. Officials said the update was taken down over concerns that people would misinterpret it as meaning airborne transmission is the main way the virus spreads.
Under the newly released update, the CDC states the main ways the virus is spread is via larger respiratory droplets that are emitted when someone coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes.
“There is evidence that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than six feet away,” the CDC website states. “These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation. Sometimes the infected person was breathing heavily, for example while singing or exercising.”
In cases where people were infected by others who were more than six feet away, the site states that “scientists believe that the amount of infectious smaller droplet and particles produced by the people with COVID-19 became concentrated enough to spread the virus to other people.”
“The people who were infected were in the same space during the same time or shortly after the person with COVID-19 had left,” the CDC update states.
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