Adding to the confusion for restaurateurs in the process of reopening indoor dining rooms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday reversed itself on aerosol transmission of COVID-19 after updating its guidance on Friday.
“A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency’s official website,” the agency said in a note Monday, after the Friday guidance was removed.
“CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19),” the government agency added. “Once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted.”
The CDC, in guidance published on Friday and reported by CNN, said the coronavirus can commonly spread "through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols," which are produced even when a person breathes. Sneezes or coughs are believed to produce larger droplets.
The reversed guidance makes no mention of aerosol transmission, but it does maintain recommendations on six feet of distancing. The way the virus is transmitted impacts operations, including restaurant ventilation.
The agency’s update Monday followed a string of policy reversals, including those on mask-wearing, who should be tested and the reopening of businesses.
A CDC-published study earlier in the month indicated adults who tested positive for COVID-19 during a peak summer resurgence of the deadly virus were twice as likely to have reported dining on site at a restaurant or drinking establishment within two weeks of being tested as compared to those who tested negative.
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