On Sunday, the CDC made a major change to its guidelines, confirming that COVID-19 is in fact airborne. By Monday morning the health organization had removed the entry, leaving much of the country confused. However, on Tuesday, in an interview with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta during the CITIZEN by CNN event, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, confirmed that the virus is in fact airborne and what exactly this means for us. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
The Coronavirus Can 'Stay in the Air'
"The evidence I've seen and the conversations I've had with people who understand aerosol particle physics more than I do, say that there's no doubt that what you talk about of various size particles, that they can stay in the air," he said.
As to the extent of how airborne the virus is, he maintains it is unclear. First, he explained that a particle that is not aerosolized, "is one that is in a large enough particle, that it will essentially drop and go down to the ground. However, a particle that is aerosolized doesn't fall to the floor due to its weight. "It can hang around for a while and recirculate," he says.
"You can make a reasonable assumption, Sanjay, that some aspect of transmission can be and is by aerosol," he stated.
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Dr. Fauci Says It's "Crucial" to Take These Steps
However, this new information doesn't really change anything when it comes to his recommended "fundamental" protection methods. "It means wear your mask. It means avoid close contact. It means avoid crowds. And it means what we've been saying, the third or fourth thing that I mentioned to you just a little while ago, is that outdoors is better than indoors," he continued. "Because if you have aerosol indoors, you can have some recirculation. And there have been some case reports in the literature of situations, for example, in restaurants where it looks like it almost had to be an aerosol spread."
"Whether or not that's 3%, 5%, 10% of the spread, we don't know," he admitted, pointing out that regardless of the percentage, it is crucial to "make sure there's good ventilation," keeping windows open when indoor, wearing a mask indoor, and when outdoor, "do all the things I've said."
"Make an assumption that some component of it is aerosol and act accordingly," he reiterated. "Which means do what we've been telling you to do all along. It doesn't change what you're doing." So do as he recommends, and to stay safe during this pandemic, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.