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CDC Acknowledges Airborne Transmission

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The CDC updated its guidance on transmission of COVID-19 to clarify that it spreads through airborne transmission, CNBC reports.

What it all means: While the CDC says COVID-19 is still much more likely to be transmitted through respiratory droplets when someone sneezes, coughs, talks or breathes, it’s also possible for smaller particles of the virus to stay in the air for several minutes—or even hours—and spread between people who are more than six feet apart.

Ventilation is key: The new guidance heightens the importance of proper ventilation in fighting the spread of the virus. The CDC clarifies that most airborne transmission happens in poorly ventilated indoor spaces, especially during activities like exercise or singing that might cause people to breathe more heavily.

The recommendation: The CDC is still recommending the same behaviors as before, which include:

  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth;
  • Social distance by staying at least six feet away from others;
  • Wash your hands frequently;
  • Clean high-touch surfaces often; and
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.

A word from the NAM: “For months, manufacturers have gone above and beyond the recommendations of health officials to protect the health and safety of our nation’s essential workers,” said NAM Director of Labor and Employment Policy Drew Schneider. “Manufacturers are using existing ventilation systems and outdoor air to reduce airborne spread of COVID-19 by increasing air circulation, allowing outdoor air into facilities and using air purifiers. NAM members are still following CDC guidance for social distancing, face coverings and proper hygiene and will continue to retool their facilities in accordance with the recommendations of health experts.”

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