CDC deleted guidance about coronavirus being airborne, says it 'was posted in error'

The CDC abruptly removed language about the airborne transmission of the coronavirus that it had posted days earlier.

Updated: September 21, 2020 - 6:41pm

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday removed guidance on its website that stated that the coronavirus is able to spread "through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as — those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks or breathes" — which is to say, the virus can linger in the air and be spread not just through respiratory droplets.

The CDC said the statement, which was posted on Friday, was a work-in-progress and published in error.

"A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency's website," a CDC spokesman told CNN. "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." 

The website currently states that the novel virus is spread primarily between individuals in close proximity (under six feet) to one another, and "through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks." 

In the now-deleted Friday update, the CDC had listed several new recommendations of ways to protect oneself against the virus, including using air purifiers in indoor spaces to reduce the number and flow of germs. 

The CDC's website has suffered a number of mix-ups and errors pertaining to its coronavirus guidance pages.

On Friday the site was also updated to say that anyone who has been in contact with an infected individual should receive a coronavirus test, which was a reversal from a former posted stance that said not all people who have potentially been exposed need to be tested. 

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