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October 25, 2021
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CDC corrigendum: Says news on coronavirus travel through air beyond 6 feet published in error


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance on Monday on how COVID-19 spreads. It elaborated on how the virus can spread, going beyond just respiratory droplets and surfaces. However, hours later, the CDC issued a statement saying that the “draft version” of changes was published in error.

The late last week update on CDC’s website says, “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.” On Monday, the CDC added some additional information about how long droplets can remain suspended in the air.

“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 fitness classes). In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk,” said the statement on CDC.

Previously, CDC had said that COVID-19 just spread between people who are in close contact, and through “respiratory droplets or small particles,” and from surfaces where those droplets land.

Then hours later, the CDC again stated that it was the “draft version” of the proposed changes and were published in “error.”

“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 the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Once this process has been completed, the updated language will be posted,” read their site.

According to a statement released by a CDC spokesperson on Monday: “Internal CDC program’s concerns regarding COVID-19 transmission language led to the revision of the “How COVID-19 Spreads” web page without appropriate in-house technical review.” It also said that they are reviewing the process and tightening the process for review of all the guidance and updates before updating the website.

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