Revised guidance on airborne COVID-19 particles published in error: CDC

*CDC’s admission that it erroneously published draft guidance comes on the heels of a controversial change to its guidance for testing asymptomatic individuals

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that COVID-19 guidance posted late last week on its official Web site was posted in error.

ConsumerConnect learnt the CDC had published the guidance Friday, September 18, 2020, saying that the virus spreads through airborne particles that could remain in the air and travel distances beyond six feet.

However, it was learnt that the disease control and prevention agency in a statement Monday clarified that “a draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency’s official Web site.

“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.”

Since removed, the guidance originally claimed that there is a growing body of scientific evidence showing that droplets and airborne particles can linger in the air and be breathed in by others.

The deleted guidance had stated: “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.”

Subsequently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) contacted the CDC about the guidance, saying it hadn’t seen any “new evidence” regarding the nature of airborne particles.

The WHO currently says the virus is spread mainly through respiratory droplets ejected when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or breathes.

For this reason, health officials continue to recommend that people wear nose masks.

Now, the CDC has reverted its mistakenly posted revision to its original guidance.

It said: “The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.”

The agency mentions that the virus “may be spread in other ways,” but it no longer mentions anything about it being airborne.

The CDC’s admission that it erroneously published draft guidance comes on the heels of a controversial change to its guidance for testing asymptomatic individuals.

It was said to have modified its guidance to state that people who had been exposed to an infected person but weren’t showing symptoms of COVID-19 did “not necessarily need a test.”

However, it also walked back that guidance after health officials expressed concerns.

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