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CDC suggests COVID can spread more easily, then takes down guidance citing internal error

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week that their position about the Novel Coroanvirus or COVID-19 did not change.

This despite posting – then taking down – a change in position on how easily the virus can be transmitted between people.


Dr. Jay Butler, who serves as deputy director for infectious diseases told the Associated Press that it was an ‘honest mistake’. A draft update was posted before going through a full-editing process and final approvals.

The update suggested that the virus can hang in the air and spread over an extended period of time and space. However, the agency said in a follow-up that the larger, heavier droplets are the primary means of transmission.


Meanwhile, CDC officials have began acknowledging that the virus can transmit through smaller droplets that spread over a wider area.

The post caused confusion and concern among the medical field. For example, if the revisions were held true, hospitals may have to make modifications to rooms where COVID-19 patients are kept so that air cannot transmit between rooms.

“We are reviewing our process and tightening criteria for review of all guidance and updates before they are posted to the CDC website,” the CDC said in a statement.


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