CDC backtracks on coronavirus airborne claims

CDC issues dire coronavirus warning for this fall

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is backtracking after posting new coronavirus guidelines on Friday that claimed COVID-19 particles can remain suspended in the air and travel beyond 6 feet.

“A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency’s official website,” the CDC said on its 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.”

On Friday, the Atlanta-based health agency revised its guidelines to indicate the coronavirus can be spread through the air between people who are in close contact with each other by simply breathing.

Before Friday, the CDC’s website said the deadly disease was thought to be spread mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an “infected person coughs, sneezes or talks,” according to CNN.

“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),” CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines said. “In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.”

ExploreAJC's full coronavirus coverage

Earlier this month, Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the coronavirus pandemic will likely worsen in the coming months, urging Americans to “hunker down this fall and winter because it’s not going to be easy.”

“I keep looking at that curve and I get more depressed and more depressed about the fact that we never really get down to the baseline that I’d like,” Fauci said.

Thirty states are experiencing downward trends in the number of coronavirus cases, but the U.S. still reports about 36,000 new cases each day, which Fauci said is too high.

The United States leads all nations in coronavirus cases, with more than 6.8 million, and almost 200,000 deaths.

The pandemic will also soon be stacked on top of flu season. In July, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said “the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be probably one of the most difficult times that we experienced in American public health.”

In Other News