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Sept. 21, 2020, 1:46 p.m. EDT

CDC takes down guidelines saying virus can spread from tiny air particles, says recommendation was ‘posted in error’

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By Caitlin McCabe

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control pulled new guidelines acknowledging the new coronavirus could be transmitted by tiny particles that linger in the air, saying a draft version of proposed changes was posted in error on the agency’s website.

For months, the CDC said the new coronavirus is primarily transmitted between people in close contact through large droplets that land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. On Friday, however, it added that tiny particles known as aerosols could transmit the virus.

Then abruptly on Monday, the CDC reversed course and removed the additions. Much of the guidelines’ earlier description of Covid-19 transmission, emphasizing spread via large droplets, was restored.

“A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency’s official website,” a CDC spokesman said in an email.

An expanded version of this story appears on WSJ.com

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