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Once again, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided guidance on COVID-19, only to contradict itself later. The CDC acknowledged what many scientists have been saying for months: that the novel coronavirus can spread through small airborne particles that can linger in poorly ventilated areas. Then a few days later, the agency walked it back.

The CDC updated their guidance on Friday (Sept. 18) to say that the virus can be spread through aerosols, or small particles that can linger in the air, according to CNN. The virus commonly spreads “through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks or breathes,” the agency website read. If a person inhales these particles through the nose, mouth, airways and lungs, they can cause infection, according to the website. “This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads,” they added.

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