The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says COVID-19 can be spread through, according to updated guidance on the agency’s website. The update, which is now available on the agency’s “How It Spreads” page, says that people who are more than six feet away from each can still become infected from droplets that hang in the air, especially in enclosed spaces that have poor ventilation.
The revised guidance comes after the CDC updated its website to include airborne transmission last month, but then removed the information, saying it was still under review. Now, the CDC compares the respiratory spread possibility to different infections like tuberculosis, measles, and chickenpox, all viruses that spread through airborne transmission.
“There is evidence that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than six feet away,” reads the new guidance. “These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation. Sometimes the infected person was breathing heavily, for example while singing or exercising.”
So what does this mean for the average person? The CDC still asserts that close contact with someone infected with COVID-19 is the most common way to contract and spread the disease. However, the guidance on airborne transmission confirms that going maskless in poorly ventilated areas, such as restaurants and bars, where a person with COVID-19 has been could still result in infection.
The news comes as cases in the U.S. continue to rise. Even the White House found COVID-19 hard to escape as President Trump announced he and first lady Melania Trump had bothfor the virus — just hours after aide Hope Hicks . Since then, more White House officials and others close to Mr. Trump and staff have also begun to test positive, including White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. With the U.S. still leading the world in virus cases, experts hope the updated guidelines might keep residents at home and away from crowded spaces as much as possible.