CDC Says Recommendations About Airborne Transmission of Coronavirus Were 'Posted in Error'

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"Airborne viruses, including Covid-19, are among the most contagious and easily spread", the site now says.

The CDC's confusing about-face comes amid reports that political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, had been influencing the agency's weekly health reports to make the USA pandemic situation seem better than it is in reality. Those states are Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

Unannounced in May, the CDC changed its guidance on opening houses of worship, deleting a warning issued the previous day that the act of singing could contribute to the transmission of coronaviruses - a switch reportedly due to White House pressure.

In the remaining states and USA territories, rates are "staying low", according to the Times' analysis.

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The US has recorded almost seven million cases of coronavirus, more than a fifth of the world's total.

USA health officials on Friday dropped a controversial piece of coronavirus guidance and said anyone who has been in close contact with an infected person should get tested.

The Aug. 24 guidance - which was widely criticized by experts - was posted on the CDC website at a time when public health experts were urging more testing, not less.

But by Monday afternoon, the CDC reversed its guidelines and removed the update from the page. The main intent seemed to be to assure state health officials that they could continue to recommend that all close contacts be tested if they felt that was wisest, despite the website language that said it was not necessary.

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"Because of the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, it is important that contacts of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection be quickly identified and tested", the agency writes.

The CDC has updated guidelines again for testing Americans who do not have coronavirus symptoms.

"We're at a time that we need far more testing, not less". The health organization wants anyone in contact with an infected person to be tested.

The CDC on Friday acknowledged, for the first time, that the coronavirus can 'remain suspended in the air'. "Even if you have a negative test, you should still self-isolate for 14 days".

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The CDC has previously said the virus mainly spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets when a sick person coughs, sneezes or talks.

Friday's "clarification" returns the CDC's stance on testing to its previous guidance, before the August adjustment.

The CDC did not respond Sunday to requests to discuss the update.

The CDC said a draft version of changes to its recommendations were posted in error on its website while it was in the process of updating its guidance. The spokesperson added that the agency is still working on its guidance regarding airborne transmission of the coronavirus.

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Friday's updated guidance described the song as one of the activities that could produce contaminating aerosols. Spread from touching surfaces is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.


"Our analysis finds large numbers of adults who have increased risk of severe COVID-19 and who have a direct or within-household connection to schools", the study authors said in the report. "This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads". They also advised people to "use air purifiers to help reduce airborne germs in indoor spaces".

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