A new post by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention backed away a bit from an earlier warning that was briefly online, but the agency still agreed that airborne transmission of the coronavirus can happen. And the 6-foot rule on social distancing isn't foolproof, according to the new guidance. The agency worded its Monday post less definitively than one that was on its site for a couple of days last month, Politico reports. The agency said at the time that the guidance was put up mistake. This post says the virus can be caught even if people are more than 6 feet apart, though it says being within 6 feet of a person with the virus for more than 15 minutes is still the most common way of catching it.
The World Health Organization has said the virus can linger in the air indoors. "Today’s update acknowledges the existence of some published reports showing limited, uncommon circumstances where people with COVID-19 infected others who were more than 6 feet away or shortly after the COVID-19-positive person left an area," the CDC post says. When around other people, the agency said, breathing outdoor air is still safer, per LiveScience. "Avoid crowded indoor spaces and ensure indoor spaces are properly ventilated by bringing in outdoor air as much as possible," the CDC suggests. (Read more CDC stories.)