CDC: COVID-19 Can Be Transmitted from More Than 6 Feet Away

Agency previously said most infections took place through close contact, not airborne transmission

By Dan Hounsell


The early efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus focused on sanitization of surfaces, but the focus quickly shifted to the role of airborne transmission — including the role of HVAC systems — in spreading the disease. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have acknowledged what health experts have asserted for months.

The CDC recently acknowledged that COVID-19 spreads through the air and can be inhaled by someone who is more than 6 feet away, according to Slate. The CDC said it has “repeatedly documented” instances of the virus spreading through the air to people who were more than 6 feet away “under certain preventable circumstances.” This marks a change for the agency that previously said most infections took place through “close contact, not airborne transmission.”

“COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus,” the CDC says on its website. “These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch. People who are closer than 6 feet from the infected person are most likely to get infected.”



May 13, 2021


Topic Area: Infection Control


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