The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged Monday that people can sometimes be infected with the coronavirus through airborne transmission, especially in enclosed spaces with inadequate ventilation.
The long-awaited update to the agency web page explaining how the virus spreads represents an official acknowledgment of growing evidence that under certain conditions, people farther than six feet apart can become infected by tiny droplets and particles that float in the air for minutes and hours, and that they play a role in the pandemic.
The update follows an embarrassing incident last month when the agency removed a draft that had not gone through proper review and was posted in error. The draft’s wording included a reference to aerosols – tiny droplets that can stay in the air, potentially traveling a significant distance. Officials said the draft was removed because they feared the language could be misinterpreted as suggesting that airborne