CDC walks back on its guid­ance over virus in air

USA TO­DAY US Edi­tion, United States of Amer­ica, 22 Septem­ber 2020,­­ti­cle/2821535887­13078

COVID-19 News - - News -

The CDC said Mon­day that it had posted in er­ror changed guid­ance on how COVID-19 spreads, walk­ing back lan­guage that ac­knowl­edged the virus can spread via “air­borne par­ti­cles.”

“There is grow­ing ev­i­dence that droplets and air­borne par­ti­cles can re­main sus­pended in the air and be breathed in by oth­ers, and travel dis­tances be­yond 6 feet,” the now-re­moved guid­ance said on the CDC’S web­site.

A note at the top of the CDC’S web­page Mon­day in­stead said that the lan­guage was a draft and the agency was still up­dat­ing its guid­ance.

CNN re­ported the changed guid­ance had been up­dated Friday, the same day the agency re­versed course on con­tro­ver­sial test­ing guid­ance. Ac­cord­ing to the CDC, “in­door en­vi­ron­ments with­out good ven­ti­la­tion” in­crease the risk of in­fec­tion via sus­pended droplets and air­borne par­ti­cles.

The U.S. has re­ported more than 6.8 mil­lion cases and roughly 200,000 deaths, as Cal­i­for­nia be­came the fourth state to top 15,000 deaths, join­ing New York, New Jersey and Texas, ac­cord­ing to Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity data. Through late Sun­day, sev­en­day new records on in­fec­tions were set in Montana, Utah, Wis­con­sin and Wy­oming. Record num­bers of deaths were re­ported in Vir­ginia and West Vir­ginia. Glob­ally, there have been more than 31 mil­lion cases and more than 961,000 fa­tal­i­ties.

New York City wel­comes back

some stu­dents

Some stu­dents in the na­tion’s largest school district re­turned to the class­room Mon­day as city schools opened their doors and kicked off their twice de­layed re­open­ing plan. New York is one of the first ma­jor school dis­tricts in the U.S. to at­tempt to bring stu­dents back to the class­room in some ca­pac­ity this year. Spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion and pre-kinder­garten stu­dents were the first to re­turn Mon­day, while el­e­men­tary, mid­dle and high school stu­dents are set to re­turn next week. The city in­tends to have stu­dents spend part of their time in classes and part of their time learn­ing vir­tu­ally this aca­demic year.

New Zealand lift­ing most re­stric­tions

New Zealand will lift its re­main­ing lock­downs ex­cept for in Auck­land, Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern said Mon­day. The na­tion her­alded for its pan­demic re­sponse re-im­posed lock­down mea­sures last month af­ter a new out­break spread in Auck­land. The out­break now ap­pears to be un­der con­trol, and health author­i­ties re­ported no new cases Mon­day.

UK sees new ex­plo­sion in cases

The United King­dom’s top doc­tor said that the coun­try has turned a cor­ner “in a very bad sense” and is now headed in the “wrong di­rec­tion” with its rates of COVID-19. Chief Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer Chris Whitty said fig­ures sug­gest there will be an ex­po­nen­tial growth in the dis­ease un­less ac­tion is taken. Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son is re­port­edly con­sid­er­ing a two-week na­tional lock­down to stem the out­break. Nearly 400,000 peo­ple in the U.K. have con­firmed COVID-19 cases, and more than 41,000 have died.

First few mil­lion vac­cine doses will be ‘god­send,’ White House ad­viser says

Even a few mil­lion doses of vac­cine would be suf­fi­cient for the U.S. to ob­tain “80% to 90% of the ben­e­fit” of mass vac­ci­na­tions, White House coro­n­avirus task force mem­ber Adm. Brett Giroir said Sun­day. Giroir, speak­ing on CNN’S “State of the Union,” said a few mil­lion doses could be avail­able in late Novem­ber or De­cem­ber. Vac­ci­nat­ing nurs­ing home work­ers, teach­ers, peo­ple with pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions and the peo­ple sur­round­ing them will be cru­cial to stem­ming the COVID-19 tide, Giroir said.

“A vac­cine as early as pos­si­ble, even in a few mil­lion doses, will be a god­send in terms of out­comes, hos­pi­tal­iza­tions, mor­bidi­ties and deaths,” Giroir said.

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