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The CDC's updated guidance on airborne COVID-19 transmission is already being reversed

The CDC is already walking back its latest COVID-19 guidance.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its website to acknowledge that the coronavirus is spread through the air and that "there is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet," as reported by CNN on Sunday. But the agency is already walking this guidance back, as The Washington Post reports the new guidelines have now been removed. A top CDC official told the Post, "that does not reflect our current state of knowledge."

The relevant page on the CDC's website now features a message which reads, "A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency's official website." The message also says that the CDC is "currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19)" and that "once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted."

This is yet another reversal at the CDC after last month, the agency raised eyebrows when it released a guidance that suggested not everyone exposed to COVID-19 "necessarily" needs to be tested if they are asymptomatic. Amid criticism from experts, and a report from The New York Times saying that this change was not written by CDC scientists and was published despite their objections, this guidance change was ultimately reversed.

Experts had praised the recent CDC guidance on airborne transmission of COVID-19, with University of Maryland professor Donald Milton telling CNN, "I'm very encouraged to see that the CDC is paying attention and moving with the science."