SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — The new COVID-19 guidance posted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website last week was an error, the organization said Monday.

On their website page “How COVID-19 Spreads,” the CDC said:

“A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency’s official 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.”

CDC update posted Sept. 21, 2020

The “draft version” posted last week suggested airborne particles of COVID-19 can stay in the air and spread to people beyond six feet.

This differs from original CDC guidance which said it spreads between people who are in close contact, hence the organization’s widespread rule about staying six feet apart.

Additional guidance on the CDC page reads:

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

The virus spreads easily between people

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious, like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, which means it goes from person-to-person without stopping.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggests that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious. In general, the more closely a person interacts with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.

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