CDC Update: COVID-19 Can be Spread by Airborne Particles
By David Doolittle


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its How COVID-19 Spreads guidance to include the potential for airborne spread of the virus.

The update “acknowledges the existence of some published reports showing limited, uncommon circumstances where people with COVID-19 infected others who were more than 6 feet away or shortly after the COVID-19-positive person left an area,” CDC said in a statement. “In these instances, transmission occurred in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces that often involved activities that caused heavier breathing, like singing or exercise. Such environments and activities may contribute to the buildup of virus-carrying particles.”

However, the guidance says that, based on available data, the coronavirus is much more commonly spread through close contact with an infected person.

CDC provided more information on how the coronavirus spreads in a scientific brief published alongside the guidance.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Texas Medical Association, CDC, and other state and national health authorities have pushed the message that the most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home if possible, wear a mask and maintain at least 6 feet of distance when going out, and to practice safe hand hygiene.

To help you spread that message to your patients, TMA has created a variety of shareable social media assets that are available in a COVID-19 Social Media Toolkit.

And as always, find the latest information, tools, and resources on the TMA COVID-19 Resource Center, which is continually updated.

Photo: Getty Images

Last Updated On

October 08, 2020

Originally Published On

October 08, 2020

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David Doolittle


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Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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