October 5, 2020
COVID-19 can sometimes be spread by airborne transmission.
- Previously, the CDC said the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 depended mainly on larger respiratory droplets, transmitted by an infected person within relatively close proximity to another, when coughing, singing, or even talking. This is the reason behind guidance for social distancing and mask-wearing.
- Now the CDC says the guidance should include airborne transmission – meaning a tiny particle, released when even breathing, may hang in the air longer than a typical respiratory droplet, opening up the potential scenarios someone *may* get infected.
- This puts the new coronavirus in a category like chicken pox and measles of diseases that may be spread through airborne droplets.
- The World Health organization says airborne transmission is when a particle “remains infectious when suspended in air over long distances and time.”
- The CDC offers this qualifier: “There is evidence that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than 6 feet away. These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation. Sometimes the infected person was breathing heavily, for example while singing or exercising.”
- A variety of different health professionals have asked the CDC for months to include this guidance, thinking it would add a more complete understanding of the threat of infection and mask policies.
- Several weeks ago the CDC published what it described as a ‘draft’ of this notable change to the main CDC website and then retracted it, saying it was premature.
- Why It Matters: In the immediate, this reflects a broadening of ways COVID-19 can be transmitted. It puts further emphasis on mask-wearing as a potential layer of protection.
- What to Watch For: We’ll watch to see if this revelation changes any policies within states for indoor dining, education, recreational activities, and beyond.
Here’s the official page: CLICK HERE
by Jenna Lee,