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.
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:
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others, whenever possible.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid crowded indoor spaces and ensure indoor spaces are properly ventilated by bringing in outdoor air as much as possible.
- Stay home and isolate yourself from others when sick.
- Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
CDC: How COVID-19 Spreads, October 5, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html
CDC: Scientific Brief: SARS-CoV2 and Potential Airborne Transmission, October 5, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/scientific-brief-sars-cov-2.html
Please stay current with CDC guidelines, stay well, stay safe and stay tuned!