Last week the CDC changed its guidance about the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, recognizing airborne spread as a key mode of infection.
The new guidance acknowledges that inhalation of aerosols — which are tiny, lightweight viral particles that can float and linger in the air for extended periods of time — is one way COVID-19 spreads. Even when an infectious person is more than 6 feet away, aerosols have the ability to travel and infect others. Following a similar change made recently by the World Health Organization (WHO), the CDC guidance acknowledges three primary routes of SARS-CoV-2 transmission: inhalation into the lungs, deposition of droplets onto the face, or touching infected surfaces, also known as fomites.