How COVID-19 Spreads

Angie Szumlinski
October 15, 2020

New CDC Guidance

On October 5, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted new information on how COVID-19 spreads. This most recent information was posted in an effort to address recent controversy on whether COVIDf-19 can have airborne transmission and what implications this may have on indoor ventilation including isolation rooms:

“There is evidence that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than 6 feet away. These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation. Sometimes the infected person was breathing heavily, for example, while singing or exercising.

The Scientific Brief: SARS-CoV2 and Potential Airborne Transmission is linked to the guidance with a more in-depth review of how respiratory viruses are transmitted.

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person to person, including between people who are physically near each other (within about 6 feet) and people who are infected but asymptomatic can also spread the virus to others. The CDC indicates they are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes.

The guidance reviews the ways the virus is spread from the easiest to the rarest:

  • COVID-19 spreads very easily from person to person
  • COVID-19 most commonly spreads during close contact
  • COVID-19 can sometimes be spread by airborne transmission
  • COVID-19 spreads less commonly through contact with contaminated surfaces
  • COVID-19 rarely spreads between people and animals

Following this information, the CDC again reviewed how to protect yourself and others, how to prevent illness, avoid being exposed to the virus and slow the spread:

CDC:  How COVID-19 Spreads, October 5, 2020.

CDC:  Scientific Brief: SARS-CoV2 and Potential Airborne Transmission, October 5, 2020.

Please stay current with CDC guidelines, stay well, stay safe and stay tuned!

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