CDC Confirms Airborne Transmission of COVID-19

October 7, 2020

As a facility manager, improving your building’s ventilation and indoor air quality continues to be a priority, especially during an infectious disease pandemic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has again updated its COVID-19 guidance website to confirm that the SARC-Cov-2 virus can be spread through airborne transmission, especially in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation, CNN reports.

The updated guidance states there is evidence that even if people space themselves six feet or farther apart, they can still become infected by small droplets and particles which remain in the air for minutes and hours. CDC said 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.” As a result, the CDC recommends that people avoid crowded indoor spaces and that building managers ensure indoor spaces are properly ventilated.

Last month, the CDC first updated its guidance to say the coronavirus could spread through airborne transmission. However, the agency said a draft version of the guidance was posted in error and switched back to its earlier guidance until it could complete its scientific review process.

Although airborne transmission is possible, the CDC stresses that the main method of contracting COVID-19 is through close contact with an infected individual. Therefore, the CDC’s recommendations for avoiding COVID-19 remain the same: follow social distancing protocols, wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, clean surfaces frequently, and stay home when you are sick.

For best practices in improving your facility’s indoor air quality, register for the upcoming Identifying and Solving Indoor Air Issues  workshop on November 12. 

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