CDC posts, removes COVID-19 airborne transmission guidance

Tables are marked with X's for social distancing in the outdoor dining area of a restaurant in Los Angeles, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered a three-week closure of bars and indoor operations of restaurants and certain other businesses in Los Angeles and 18 other counties as the state deals with increasing cases of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) removed a statement appearing to confirm airborne transmission of COVID-19.

The statement, now removed, said:

It is possible that COVID-19 may spread through the droplets and airborne particles that are formed when a person who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes. 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.

A note on the CDC website now says, “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.”

In July, two stories indicated that airborne transmission of the virus was a likely culprit of increases.

Image of statement from CDC website