"CDC is now updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19)", the note reads. "In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk", the website continues.
The draft changes on the air transmission of COVID-19 also came on the heels of the CDC's director, Dr. Robert Redfield, saying masks could be even more helpful in combating the coronavirus than a vaccine.
"I think the statement on airborne transmission that was briefly available on the CDC website was correct", said Linsey Marr, a Virginia Tech professor of civil and environmental engineering and an expert on airborne transmission of viruses.
Informing the public about how Covid-19 is actually transmitted is key to helping Americans understand what precautions they should be taking to avoid catching it, scientists have said.
The health institute also said that there was "growing evidence" that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and can travel beyond six feet.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control pulled new guidelines acknowledging the new coronavirus could be transmitted by tiny particles that linger in the air, saying a draft version of proposed changes was posted in error on the agency's website. A person may get COVID-19 by touching the surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes.
Aerosols are "thought to be the main way the virus spreads", the guidance indicated.
CDC acknowledges importance of air ventilation, farther spread of COVID-19 particles
But researchers long suspected that the virus could travel much farther, especially indoors and in places where people talk loudly or sing. Infamously, one infected person in March unknowingly passed COVID-19 to 52 others at a choir practice in Washington state.
When it updated its guidance Friday, the CDC did not offer additional guidance on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In a section of the agency's website titled "How COVID Spreads", the CDC acknowledged for the first time that "droplets and airborne particles" can stay in the air and infect others - a mode of spread that has been supported by widespread evidence for months, and which President Trump acknowledged in a February phone call with Bob Woodward. "This is a good thing, if we can reduce transmission because more people understand how it is spreading and know what to do to stop it".
In nearly all cases, the studies have found, people who contracted the virus had prolonged exposure to the airborne particles and weren't wearing masks.
"Studies by the signatories and other scientists have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking, and coughing in microdroplets small enough to remain aloft in air and pose a risk of exposure at distances beyond 1-2 m from an infected individual", the scientists said.
The misstep is one of several in recent weeks in which the CDC has left the public scratching its head. The evidence is accumulating, ' Milton wrote in an email to CNN.