CDC updates guidance it had removed: Coronavirus can ‘spread by airborne transmission’ and at even ‘more than 6 feet’
President Donald J. Trump announces Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Rose Garden of the White House on Saturday, September 26, 2020, who was joined by her husband Jesse Barrett and their children. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Weeks ago the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was criticized for quietly updating its COVID-19 guidance to admit that the deadly coronavirus is airborne and can travel by air at distances further than six feet – and then quickly taking that guidance down once the press reported on it. The CDC claimed it had erroneously published a draft that was not finalized.

Finally, after a week that included President Donald Trump, the First Lady, and at least ten others who attended the Rose Garden Supreme Court nominating ceremony for Judge Amy Coney Barrett contracting COVID-19, the CDC has again quietly updated its guidance to admit what many, including experts, believed for months.

"COVID-19 can sometimes be spread by airborne transmission," the CDC is now admitting, weeks later.

"There is evidence that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than 6 feet away," the new guidance reads. "These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation. Sometimes the infected person was breathing heavily, for example while singing or exercising."

"Under these circumstances, scientists believe that the amount of infectious smaller droplet and particles produced by the people with COVID-19 became concentrated enough to spread the virus to other people. The people who were infected were in the same space during the same time or shortly after the person with COVID-19 had left."

But the draft guidance which was pulled Sept. 21 was more descriptive – and thus more helpful in preventing the spread of the virus. For example, one portion noted spread can occur "for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes."

That violates the Trump administration's push to have all businesses and public spaces fully re-opened.