CDC says coronavirus is airborne, but weakens language from earlier warning


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The CDC on Monday confirmed that the coronavirus is airborne and may be able to infect people who are more than six feet apart, especially indoors with poor ventilation.

The agency first said last month that the virus spreads mainly through “aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes.” CDC pulled that language days later, saying it had been posted in error and required further review.

The update posted Monday to the CDC website tempers that earlier warning. It acknowledges that airborne transmission is possible, but says the virus is more commonly spread when people are in close contact with someone who is infected. The agency defines close contact as within six feet of a sick person for at least 15 minutes.

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