After months of speculation, the CDC finally confirmed this week that COVID-19 is airborne, issuing an update to their guidelines online. However, the following day the updated passage disappeared from their website, leaving many people confused. So can the virus spread via the air from person-to-person via respiratory droplets that float through the air? According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the answer is "almost certainly." During a Thursday interview with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, the nation's leading infectious disease expert and key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force explained how this can happen. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
"Aerosol Transmission Does Occur"
"I believe — and I think there's good enough data — to say that aerosol transmission does occur," Fauci confirmed.
He explained what is meant by aerosol spread. "Generally, if you have droplets that come out of a person, they generally go down within six feet. So if you're six feet distance and you're wearing a mask, you don't worry about that," he said. However, in other cases of transmission — which he admits, he doesn't know the percentage at this point — those droplets "don't drop immediately." This usually occurs indoors by aerosol.
"They hang around for a period of time," he continued. "This becomes very relevant when you're indoors and there's not good ventilation."
He did point out that this revelation "doesn't change anything" when it comes to the already recommended prevention methods — which include the wearing of masks, social distancing, staying outdoors instead of indoors, avoiding crowds, and practicing hand hygiene.
He also urges people not to get "bent out of shape" about the evidence behind aerosol or the percentage of spread that happens this way. "Aerosol transmission almost certainly occurs," he stated, suggesting that people "act like it's occurring" and follow the recommendations set forth by the government.
COVID-19 Can "Stay in the Air"
On Tuesday during his interview with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta during the CITIZEN by CNN event, he also discussed the airborne nature of coronavirus.
"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. To keep yourself free from COVID-19, do as Dr. Fauci advises: wear a mask, avoid crowds, wash your hands and don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.