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CDC now says coronavirus can spread by airborne transmission

The CDC says coronavirus particles can stay in the air for hours after an infected person has left.

Posted: Oct 6, 2020 5:29 PM
Updated: Oct 6, 2020 5:36 PM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the coronavirus can spread by airborne transmission.

On Monday, the CDC updated the COVID-19 guidance. The new guidelines say particles of the virus can stay in the air after an infected person has left. 

WAAY 31 spoke with Huntsville Hospital Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Ali Hassoun, and learned the new information from the CDC primarily means people need to continue taking coronavirus precautions seriously.

“I really don’t think there’s a major new thing as a precaution," said Hassoun. "It’s going to stay the exact same thing of physical distancing, masking and reducing contact in close spaces.”

The new guidance about airborne transmission of coronavirus says the virus can spread even if people are more than six feet apart. That's because coronavirus particles can stay in the air for hours if there isn't proper ventilation.

Hassoun said the new CDC guidelines remind people to continue following proper safety measures.

“That just emphasized, by the way, you better be outdoors rather than indoors if you’re going to be in a crowd or close contact with others," he said.

Being outdoors doesn't prevent you from getting the virus, but it helps reduce the risk.

The agency said instances of airborne transmission often came from activities that caused heavy breathing, like singing or working out.

“We’ve always been advocating and saying ‘please do not go into close spaces,’ and that’s just confirmed our worries about if you’re in a close space, you will be at higher risk," said Hassoun.

The coronavirus is more commonly spread by close contact than airborne transmission. The best way to prevent the virus spreading is to practice social distancing and masking as much as possible. 

Hassoun said people need to continue checking for symptoms daily.

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