COVID-19 Virus Is Air-Transmitted and Can Spread Beyond Two Meters, CDC Says


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledged on Friday that the SARS-CoV-2 virus behind the coronavirus pandemic is air-streaming and can be inhaled even when one is more than six feet away from an infected person.

The new guide is a change in the agency’s previous position where they had said infections occurred from “close contact, not air transmission.”

By updating its public guidelines on the spread of Covid-19, the CDC states that the virus can be transmitted through very fine aerosol particles that are released during breathing. The agency said people release these respiratory fluids in the form of droplets during exhalation.

While large droplets are deposited on a nearby surface within seconds to minutes, the agency said the very thin droplets are “small enough to stay suspended in the air for minutes or hours.”

The CDC noted that although the risk of transmission is “higher within three to six feet of an infectious person,” it has also reported cases where the infection has spread even though the person was at a distance of more than six feet. They said transmissions were observed in cases where an infectious person exhaled the virus indoors for an extended period of time, more than 15 minutes and, in some cases, hours.

This, the agency said, leads to “a concentration of viruses in airspace sufficient to transmit infections to people more than six feet away and, in some cases, to people who have passed through that space shortly after the infected person left.”

The medical body reiterated existing recommendations to prevent transmission of the infection. These include physical distance, wearing a well-fitting mask, good ventilation and avoid crowded indoor spaces.

“These methods will reduce transmission by both inhalation of the virus and deposit of the virus in exposed mucous membranes. Transmission through dirty hands and surfaces can be prevented by practicing good hand hygiene and cleaning the environment,” he warned. (


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